Higher Education Funding Council for England

Greening the curriculum at the University of Liverpool

Tuesday 17-12-2013 - 11:50
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Education for sustainable development is something which we know our students are demanding.

Our third year of HEA commissioned research has shown that 80% of students want their institutions to actively promote sustainability, and 60% want to learn more about it.

Students recognise that greening the curriculum isn’t just important for promoting global sustainability, but also for boosting their own employability as they graduate into an increasingly low-carbon economy.

Liverpool Guild of Students is using Students’ Green Fund to make huge strides in this area. Bringing together staff, academics and student officers, they recently hosted a day of mapping the future of education for sustainable development at the University of Liverpool.

“Greening the curriculum is so important to the Liverpool Guild of Students not just because it is essential for the development of students as emerging professionals and individuals, but because it is fundamental for the survival of our planet”, explained vice-president Leigh-Angel Bevan. 

“We are looking for student Green Ambassadors who will help implement ESD into their curriculum whilst also greening their department”

The day’s conversations considered issues like effective communication, potential barriers for student engagement with sustainable development, and identifying opportunities for outreach into the community. A keynote speech was delivered by Professor Daniella Tilbury, who argued for transforming our approach to teaching in higher education.

Next steps will build on recent research into student attitudes at the University of Liverpool, developing strategy alongside the soon-to-be published QAA/HEA Guidance and HEFCE Framework for Sustainable Development. 30 Green Ambassadors will engage around 1,500 students from across the institution, leading focus groups to find pathways for embedding sustainability into education, via a completely student-led process. 

Project manager David Wheatley tells us that “Students’ Green Fund has enabled us to develop a multi-facetted strategy for student-led action research into ESD in the curriculum across the full range of subject areas, and funding start-up projects which promoted staff-student collaboration”

“The ultimate vision for ESD in Liverpool is that the skills and knowledge required to make the right choices in an ever changing world are fully embraced by staff and an entitlement of every student”




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