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Consultation launched on revised Education for Sustainable Development Guidance

Date: December 4 - 2020

QAA and Advance HE have launched a consultation on revised Education for Sustainable Development Guidance for UK higher education providers.

The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) guidance was developed and published in 2014 and, in 2020, has undergone a major review. This guidance builds upon the concept of education for sustainable development and identifies a process and offers a toolkit for designing education for sustainable development into curricula.

Following significant developments within the higher education sector and set against the backdrop of the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030), the consultation represents a major rewrite of the ESD guidance - reflecting changes in understandings about and priorities in sustainable development (SD), and the increased urgency for everybody in society to take positive actions in addressing sustainable development issues.

QAA and Advance HE have worked with the sector in revising this guidance. An expert group made up of individuals drawn from and acting on behalf of the higher education, student and business community, advised upon its content. We now wish to gather wider views from the higher education community and stakeholders in order to further shape the draft prior to its final publication in spring 2021. QAA operates via a consultative and transparent process which is intended to ensure that the final outcome is representative of as wide a pool of views as possible.

Co-Chairs Professors Jim Longhurst and Simon Kemp said: 'This guidance is intended to assist staff in UK higher education institutions seeking to incorporate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within the curricula. It provides a framework to support curriculum design, and general guidance on approaches to teaching, learning and assessment with the aim of supporting students from any discipline to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to develop values and take actions to transition society towards sustainable futures.'

We welcome contributions to this consultation from anyone with an interest in student academic experiences, including staff within higher education institutions who work on aspects of course design and delivery, and have responsibility for academic quality or particular expertise in sustainability and sustainability education. We would also like to hear from students and employers or their representatives, as well as those working in higher education support organisations.

Visit our ESD consultation web page to read the draft revised guidance and access our online response survey. The deadline for comments is Friday 22 January 2021.