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Education for sustainable development case studies

Our academics at BU teach students about sustainable development in the context of their courses. Below are some examples of education for sustainable development delivered to BU students across the University.

Faculty of Management

Dr Sean Beer teaches his MSc Hotel and Food Services Management and MSc Events Management students about applying the ‘triple bottom line’ standard approach for full cost accounting developed by the United Nations International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. He teaches his students to use the approach in the context of food and drink considering political, economic, social, technological, environmental and gastronomic aspects. Students learn about sustainability in a broad context and gain skills in holistic thinking using a systems approach.

Dr Nicole Ferdinand, Dr Nigel Williams and Liz Gordon teach MSc Events Management students about sustainability by asking them to stage live events which they then evaluate using holistic techniques such as the triple bottom line. These events must show consideration to the long term needs of society and where an event is for a charity, it must both attract attendees and draw attention to the charitable cause. Students learn problem solving and critical thinking skills and how to design sustainable events which demonstrate cultural sensitivity.

Michael O’Regan and Christina Squires lead and Event Management unit where students develop and execute their own events on campus, and teach this with specifics UN Sustainable Development Goals in mind. A flipped learning approach is used, and sustainability is highlighted before the rest of the key practices in events management. To deepen their understanding, each group discusses how sustainable their decision making is, and check their resolve to create more sustainable events. They are then given a hand-out whereby they can rate the sustainability of their event. Finally they are asked to discuss with peers to problem-solve their event organization in order to become more sustainable. 

Faculty of Science and Technology

Professor Chris Shiel and Dr Elena Cantarello teach BSc Geography students about how sustainable development can be achieved in the context of a globalising world. Students are taught to analyse, interpret and evaluate current issues such as the potential to develop alternative relationships between people and the environment. Students learn futures thinking, analytical skills, and decision making.
Professor Adrian Newton, Professor Chris Shiel, Dr Elena Cantarello and Dr Kathy Hodder teach on the MSc Green Economy programme, a distance learning course designed to teach exclusively about sustainable development and how it can be achieved. Students learn about a range of topics including carbon management, renewable energy, biodiversity and social justice. All 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals are embedded into the curriculum. Critical thinking is at the heart of the programme but students also develop problem solving skills, comprehension of scientific information and data and professional skills through a work-based placement. Students are encouraged to analyse, interpret and evaluate data and research in order to debate global issues. Going forward, there will be much more focus on not only analysing and understanding global challenges, but also facilitating behaviour change within the cohorts.

Faculty of Media and Communications

Annie East, has been working with albert consortium, the sustainable arm of BAFTA, to ensure students are trained in applied skills for a sustainable media industry. Annie and Bafta albert pushed forward with the concept of creating a partnership of radical collaboration from other higher education institutions to enable students on media programmes to have the best opportunity to engage with concepts and practice around sustainable development in media practice. As a result 2018 saw Bournemouth University being one of the founding partners of albert in Education Partnership along with Salford University, National Film and Television School, Learning On Screen, Confetti Institute at Nottingham University, Sheffield Hallam University, Glasgow Caledonian University.

Expanding with new partners all the time, the vision of the albert in education partnership is to: provide the education community, staff and graduates, with the opportunity to learn about environmentally responsible working practices and its professional relevance to help contribute towards the transformation of the film and television industry. 

The partnership has created teaching resources and is developing an educational version of the albert Carbon Calculator. Over the next year the partnership will roll out albert certified teaching and learning materials that will be available to Bournemouth University and all partners. Working with educationalists and media practitioners, the materials are designed to allow educators the agency to deliver those resources using traditional lecture/seminar approach or through a flipped classroom approach. This flexibility provides opportunities for students across the HE sector to graduate from albert certified course units into an industry where they can continue to champion and lead on sustainable media initiatives.

Elsewhere in the Media Production Department, Principle Lecturer, James Fair has been working with La Temps Presse, a French film festival, who launch BA Film’s Film Language assessment; a short film with no dialogue that relates to one of the 17 UN Sustainable Practice goals. This global agenda, externally validated, really challenges the students with a real-world task from the moment they arrive in university. This fulfils the vision of inspiring our staff and students to enrich the world.

albert in Education Partnership

The Albert in Education website