Mapping the CDIO Syllabus to the UNESO Key Competences for Sustainability
Paper i proceeding, 2019

In this paper a framework of key competencies for sustainability defined by UNESCO is used to evaluate the relevance of the CDIO Syllabus for promoting engineering education for sustainable development. The evaluation is performed in two steps. First, topics, terms and concepts in the CDIO Syllabus that corresponds to the different UNESCO key competencies are identified. The second step is a qualitative discussion where areas of strong mapping are highlighted and aspects that could be better visualized or strengthened in, or added to, the Syllabus are identified. Differences in definitions of various concepts between the CDIO Syllabus and the UNESCO key competencies and the overall relation between the two frameworks are discussed. It is concluded that the CDIO Syllabus is rather well aligned with the UNESCO framework, however several opportunities (not to say needs) for strengthening the Syllabus in relation to the key competencies are identified. The UNESCO key competencies are found to be useful instruments for scrutinizing and updating the CDIO Syllabus. Other opportunities for knowledge and methods transfer between the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) domain and the Engineering Education domain are identified. The paper is proposed to be used as basis for updating the CDIO Syllabus into a version 3.0 for maintaining its relevance in a changing world.

key competencies


sustainable development

CDIO Syllabus

Standards 1-3, 5, 7-9


Anders Rosén

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Kristina Edström

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Audun Gröm

Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Lena Gumaelius

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Peter Munkebo Hussman

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Anna-Karin Högfeldt

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Meeri Karvinen


Marko Keskinen


Maria Knutson Wedel


Ulrika Lundqvist

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Fysisk resursteori

Reidar Lyng

Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Johan Malmqvist

Chalmers, Industri- och materialvetenskap, Produktutveckling

Mads Nygaard

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Martin Vigild

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Thomas Fruergaard Astrup

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Proceedings of the International CDIO Conference

20021593 (eISSN)

9788775074594 (ISBN)

The 15th International CDIO Conference
Aarhus, Denmark,


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