Responsible futures embeds sustainability through
of teaching and learning, working in
with students at universities around the world.
Find out more:
The programme was created in 2013 and developed with the pilot cohort of 13 UK universities and colleges. Since then, the framework has supported 39 institutions to integrate sustainability through the formal, informal and subliminal curriculum.
The community developed through the programme provides space for sharing good practice, discussing live issues and challenges, and collaborating to shape and lead the further and higher education sector in the globally.
Frequently asked questions:
We have worked with 39 institutions in the UK reaching nearly 700,000 students taking over 1000 actions in to embed sustainability in teaching and learning. These have resulted in a range of outcomes, including:
- Increased buy-in and support from senior leadership to drive this work forward
- Increased capacity and resourcing for developing curricula with sustainability as a golden thread
- Developing a stronger relationship between university/college and SU
- Creating interdisciplinary experiences for students
- Graduate attributes include sustainability
We have delivered over 46 student led audits with nearly 200 student auditors and counting. Feedback from student auditors describe the experience as ““immersive,” “uplifting” and “eye-opening.”
We are now delighted to deliver a Responsible Futures international pilot in partnership with the International Association of Universities with plans to deliver the programme more widely in October 2024.
The Responsible Futures international pilot launched in October 2023. 6 universities across the globe are involved in piloting the programme at their institution in partnership with students. Throughout the year, we'll work with the universities to shape the programme, capture feedback and evaluate impact. The wider programme will launch in October 2024.
If you're interested in learning how your institution get involved in 2024, please email email@example.com.
The programme legitimises Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in teaching and learning: The RF framework was agreed upon by a number of sector bodies, pilot universities and colleges and the accreditation is recognised by P&P and the Times Higher Education Impact rankings and signposted in a number of high level education resources.
The programme provides a toolkit of criteria of good practice with which we ask partnerships to engage – these aren’t prescriptive criteria, but guidance. The criteria cover a range of areas – including policy and commitments, strategy, interventions, baselines and benchmarks that support change from top down, middle out and bottom up. Through engaging with the framework, a broad range of university staff and students work in partnership, facilitating the whole-institution approach for institutional change.
Progress is an important factor to the programme. Opportunities to reflect on change and outcomes are embedded into the framework and support to ensure long lasting, meaningful change.
Part of the framework involved embedding Responsible Futures into working groups, either existing or new, to lead on work related to the programme. This ensures capacity is shared amongst a group of people across the institution and isn't progressed by just one or two individuals.
The programme supports you to create a SMART action plan using the framework to take stock of what you’re already doing, what you want to do now and in the future, as well as who can look into an area of work you’d like to progress.
In terms of working with students, Responsible Futures advocates for equitable partnership. The way the programme is designed recognises differing capacities amongst students, student leadership groups and the institution, and encourages meaningful partnership amid capacity and workload differences.
Responsible Futures provides a focus for already existing sustainability work, and mechanisms for student/staff involvement. Responsible Futures acts an approach and way of working that breaks down silos and brings together different areas of work under one cohesive framework. Many partnerships use Responsible Futures to both take stock of what is already happening and to plan ahead.
Get in touch
Meet the team
Hilligje is the Secretary General of the International Association of Universities.
Isabel is the Programme Officer for Sustainable Development at the International Association of Universities (IAU), based in Paris at UNESCO. Isabel manages the Responsible Futures international programme in partnership with Students Organising for Sustainability.
Kedijah is a Project Manager - Education at Students Organising for Sustainability. Kedijah acts as lead contact for participating institutions, helping them to engage with the programme and the framework through bespoke support and network learning.
Meg works as the IAU Communications and Media Officer. She delivers communications for the Responsible Futures international pilot.
Quinn is the Director of Education at Students Organising for Sustainability. Quinn leads on SOS-UK's education work.
Rachel is the Head of Impact and Research at Students Organising for Sustainability. Rachel leads on monitoring and evaluating the programmes impacts and outcomes.
Rajneet is a Project Coordinator at Students Organising for Sustainability. Rajneet coordinates the communications and administration for Responsible Futures.
Sonya is a Senior Project Manager - Education at Students Organising for Sustainability. Sonya manages a range of education programmes including Responsible Futures.
We are looking forward to the Responsible Futures international pilot and the collaboration across campuses, faculties and departments on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). This will really bring a sense of unity to our work and bring our university closer together as we work towards this
President of the UWI Indies Global Campus STAT Corp, The University of the West Indies
The International Association of Universities (IAU) and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) are working in partnership to deliver the international adaptation of the Responsible Futures pr
The University of the West of England and the Students Union at UWE hosted a webinar on how to prepare, participate in and reflect on the two-day....