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Sustainability Curriculum Mapping at the University of Chichester

Case Study

May 23, 2024

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Overview of initiative

In January 2024, the partnership conducted an audit of the University’s curriculum to discover how many modules integrated any of the UN Sustainability goals. Buy-in from their DVC for Teaching and Learning and Student Experience meant that returns were quickly completed. They used a form developed by their Psychology department, which asked HODs to list modules under each of the 17 UN Sustainability goals.

Impact of initiative

The results of the audit show that roughly 30% of the modules taught at Chichester already contain some content related to the UN Sustainability goals. It is interesting to note the areas where goals are clustered. As a university with no pure science courses, it is perhaps not surprising that the highest score was for Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing. Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities was the second most popular area. Some subject areas appear to have little engagement with any goals. We need to discover whether this is due to poor knowledge of the goals or whether certain subject areas are not in fact engaging with many goals.

Role played by Responsible Futures

The RF criteria that served as a catalyst for the activities is listed below:

  • BB003 – Within the last five years, the partnership has carried out a thorough baseline curriculum review or audit on sustainability and Education for Sustainable Development

By engaging with RF, they have been able to see how other institutions are undertaking similar work. This has really helped them to move forward. The structure of RF has given them a clear set of priorities.

“The support of RF has been crucial in helping us develop an effective strategy”  - University of Chichester

Additional comments

The audit, detailed as it is, only gives us a snapshot. We now need to dig deeper into the data to discover how many students actually experience ESD during their degrees. In addition to this, we are currently developing the following: a dedicated Moodle page with resources and tips; staff training to share good practice; a short online course for staff and students: Introduction to ESD. We are lobbying to have Embedding ESD Across the Curriculum as a KPI in the new University Strategic Plan so that we can mainstream ESD across the university.