The Knowledge Exchange for Sustainability Education (KESE) team works to progress education for sustainable development through curriculum mapping, staff development, student engagement and celebration. It is currently using the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to frame its activities.
The team consists of representatives from academic departments across UWE, Bristol. The KESE team leader is employed on a 0.5 contract to lead education for sustainable development work. However, the other team members are employed as academics in their respective departments and undertake this work in addition to their core roles, which sit at grades from graduate tutor to Professor.
The team is supported by a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Office and also includes one member of The Students’ Union at UWE, who has been critical to the student engagement element of the project.
Impact of work
Work so far has resulted in the creation of more than 30 programme maps across 27 disciplines with input from more than 120 members of staff programme, with each map detailing links between the discipline and sustainable development. These have been used for multiple purposes including programme validation and student recruitment, reflection on pedagogy, identification of opportunities for curriculum and programme enhancement, improvements to student experience, development of staff capacity and partnership working with students. Further outcomes of the KESE group activity include an award-winning Sustainability Plan; national awards for Student Engagement, Learning and Teaching and Leadership; accreditation under the National Union of Students Responsible Futures initiative and institutional certification of UWE’s environmental management system, including educational provision, under ISO 14001. The team have been flexible and creative in encouraging colleagues and students to contribute to their work. Innovative, supportive and persistent approaches have required time-intensive personalised communication by team members and creation of multiple and varied resources, templates and opportunities for engagement. This combination has proven successful in building momentum and helping UWE to achieve sector leadership of ESD in the UK HE sector.
The KESE team will continue to develop new and existing maps of university activity against the UN SDGs, to support the initiation of opportunities for staff and students to engage with the SDGs and to involve people from across the University community in its work.