Experiences from an International Training Programme on ESD in Higher Education at Chalmers University of Technology
Paper in proceedings, 2013
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is funding, as part of its bilateral development assistance, International Training Programmes (ITPs) to support social and economic development in developing countries. Niras Natura (previously Ramboll Natura) has since 2008 organized an ITP on ESD in higher education together with Rhodes University in South Africa and the last two years also with Tongji University in China. The ITP is implemented in cooperation with UNEP and seeks to support the Global University Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) initiative. The participants in the ITP come from universities and ministries of education (or similar) in Africa and Asia. Participants from universities typically belong to the staff of teachers/researchers or university management. All participants have their own change project for ESD with the purpose to enable participants to link the learning from the ITP to their own work context and institutional priorities. The ITP is going on for almost a year and includes several phases where the participants mainly work on their change projects at their home university (or ministry). Early on in the ITP, the participants spend two weeks at universities in Sweden and since the start of the ITP in 2008, the participants have spent their last week in Sweden at Chalmers University of Technology, with the purpose to share knowledge and experiences in ESD and institutional change at universities. Chalmers has a long history on ESD since the 1980’s and is constantly working to improve the quality and increase the quantity of ESD in the educational programmes. The aim of this paper is to evaluate how an ITP like this can contribute to ESD and institutional change at universities. The objectives are to find out which influence Chalmers’ contribution to the ITP on ESD in higher education has had on: 1) change projects and other ESD activities of the participants and 2) the ESD work at Chalmers. We have sent out a survey to participants in the ITP and another survey to lecturers at Chalmers who have contributed to the ITP. Some results are that people at Chalmers have got an opportunity to reflect upon the ESD work that they have done so far and for the future. The sharing of experiences has been inspiring and increased the engagement.
Education for sustainable development