QAA/HEA Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Guidance | Formal launch on 17 October at UWE


The formal launch of new guidance, Education for sustainable development: Guidance for UK higher education providers, will take place at Severn Room, Exhibition and Conference Centre, Frenchay Campus, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, BS34 8QZ on Friday 17 October 2014, 10.00-16.00.

Jointly hosted by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the University of the West of England (UWE), this one-day event will be of interest to programme leaders, teaching staff, institutional managers with responsibility for academic quality, sustainability leaders, and students and their representatives.

This Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Guidance, published in June 2014, was developed by QAA working in partnership with the HEA, with the help of an expert advisory group chaired by Professor James Longhurst of UWE and co-convened by Dr Laura Bellingham and Simon Kemp. An earlier version of the guidance was subject to public consultation between November 2013 and January 2014.

Day’s programme

Following an introduction to the day by Professor Jim Longhurst (Chair of the QAA/HEA ESD Group and Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability UWE), Professor Steve West (Vice-Chancellor, UWE) will welcome the delegates.

The morning will be structured around two panel presentation/discussion sessions. Panel one will introduce the purpose and expected use of the guidance, and panel two will be a respondents’ panel of academic users, professional body and student representatives.

Panel one, chaired by Professor Jim Longhurst, will comprise:

  • Dr Victoria Lindsay (Director, Quality Development Group, QAA)
  • Professor Philippa Levy (Deputy Chief Executive (Academic Practice), HEA)
  • Andrew Smith (Head of Estates and Sustainable Development, Higher Education Funding Council for England HEFCE)

Panel two, chaired by Simon Kemp (University Lead in ESD, University of Southampton and former academic lead for ESD at the HEA), will comprise:

  • Chris Willmore (Academic Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Bristol)
  • Iain Patton (Chief Executive, Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges EAUC)
  • Hannah Kahn and Laura-Kate Howells (UWE Students’ Union)

In the afternoon parallel workshops will give the delegates an opportunity to explore working with the new guidance within their own institutional context. They will be able to select a workshop depending on where their institution is in its ESD journey, i.e. starting to address ESD, some way along in its ESD journey, or more advanced in its ESD activity. Each workshop  will be facilitated by a member of the QAA/HEA ESD Group.

The event will come to a close with feedback from the workshops and conclusions from the day.

ESD Guidance

This Guidance, which aims to assist staff in UK HEIs in incorporating ESD within the curricula of their respective disciplines, comprises two main parts:

  • The identification of graduate outcomes: What students will be able to know, understand and do after an appropriate period of learning
  • A focus on teaching, learning and assessment: The ways in which educators can work with students to help them achieve and demonstrate the outcomes

Although it relates primarily to undergraduate provision and assessment at Level 6, the guidance may also be helpful to educators working at other levels (e.g. Level 5, including foundation degrees, and postgraduate). Moreover, it should be read in conjunction with the appropriate QAA subject benchmark statement.

Chapter B3 of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code) on Learning and Teaching identifies education for sustainability (or ESD) as an educational theme that cuts across academic disciplines. This guidance therefore complements the Quality Code but does not form an explicit part of it.


There is no charge to attend this event. Register online (see link below) to attend the event by Friday 10 October 2014.

Image adapted from the PDF flier of the event.

See also…

Free registration for the event on 17 October 2014 (registration closes on 10 October 2014)

UWE website | Launch of QAA-HEA guidance for higher education providers on Education for Sustainable Development

New QAA/HEA ESD Guidance to complement UK Quality Code for Higher Education

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) website:

Higher Education Academy (HEA) website:

LinkedIn posts on ESD and Sustainability in HE | #asiLI on Twitter

New QAA/HEA ESD Guidance | Complementing UK Quality Code for Higher Education

Note: For LinkedIn posts on 16 ESD/sustainability exemplars of UK universities (Bradford, Edinburgh, Essex, Gloucestershire, Keele, LSBU, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford Brookes, Southampton, Staffordshire, Surrey, UCL, UCLan, UWE and Worcester), please visit

Why universities should lead their wider communities’ sustainability endeavours | Three reasons

Is UK Higher Education taking a GREEN turn? Sector bodies, student community, award schemes and universities – a look at their recent activity

Positioning itself at the pinnacle of global higher education | Can UK higher education use sustainability as a vehicle?

A green tale of four UK universities | HEA Green Academy workshops – Worcester, Canterbury Christ Church, Bristol and Nottingham

UNEP Greening Universities Toolkit | A global resource for advancing green and sustainable campuses

The Sustainable University: Progress and prospects | Handbook to ‘the University of the Future’

LSBU MSc in Education for Sustainability | How it enriched my perspective

Embedding sustainability in the curriculum – Gloucestershire style | Nine projects, from Fashion through Sports to Religion

A PBL toolkit for Sustainability Education | A Keele-Manchester-Staffordshire collaboration

Education for Sustainability MSc at LSBU | A pioneer that brings together environment, development and education

Embedding sustainability in Civil Engineering curriculum | Some bricks for thought

A visual celebration of good practice in sustainability | 40 photos from 18 UK universities

Sustainability | A balancing act? Four of them?

Making sense of sustainability (or sustainable development) | A look at seven definitions

Sustainability-oriented poetry | Ten unforgettable pieces from Byron to Tennyson

Sustainability-oriented quotes and sayings | Twenty gems from Native Americans to Einstein

Related posts on The Sustainable University News & Info website (this website)

New QAA/HEA ESD Guidance to complement UK Quality Code for Higher Education

Online consultation on QAA/HEA draft guidance on ESD for UK higher education open until 3 January 2014

QAA/HEA ESD Guidance Document for UK higher education goes under consultation

New website: The Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in Higher Education

CONFERENCE: Quality Assurance, Enhancement and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Creating a Framework for Dialogue

ESD London Conference | Sustainability is a core theme in higher education today and will remain so tomorrow, says VC LSBU

Education for Sustainability (EfS) is enriching curriculum and student experience at Gloucestershire, says Professor Tilbury

Informal communication has a key role in sustainability-oriented institutional change, says Green Academy Lead at Worcester

Sustainability leadership is all around us, says Director SD at Canterbury Christ Church University

Disciplines speak ‘Sustainability’ in different languages, says ESD academic lead at Bristol

Online learning is a driver for sustainability, says Dr Speight at HEA-Nottingham seminar

ESD has made inroads in new pedagogical ideas in future flexible higher education – HEA report

HEFCE London event: NHS Sustainable Development jab to higher education

Sustainable Lifestyles conference | Good life of the good person is only possible in a good society, says Prof Jackson

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Five questions and 100 delegates from 15 countries: COPERNICUS conference on higher education, sustainability and ESD

UNEP publishes Greening Universities Toolkit

Inaugural AGM of London RCE on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

HEA-NUS Report 2013: Student attitudes towards and skills for sustainable development

NUS announces 25 Students’ Green Fund projects in England

London South Bank University (LSBU) in Africa: Education for Sustainability (EfS) Residential 2013

Gloucestershire workshop on Education for Sustainability in Higher Education

Delivering ESD and graduate attributes through Hybrid Problem-Based Learning

New TOOLKIT: Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Sustainability Education

Related posts on The Sustainable University Notes blog

Education’s role in addressing sustainability and ESD

Higher Education’s role in building a sustainable world

Pathways to a sustainable university

EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University (Part 1): curriculum content and delivery

Opportunities for integrating sustainability across curricula (Part 2 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University)

How a blog shaped the Planetshire University (PU) Model (v2) | Sustainability in the curriculum as a driver of reputation enhancement and stakeholder engagement


The Sustainable University One-stop Shop |

Its satellite websites:  News & Info | Research | Good Practice | Quotes | Blog | Reflective Diary | Twitter

Project PROPOSAL for universities | Sustainability as an enhancer of reputation and financial position | The Planetshire University (PU) model (v2)

LinkedIn GROUP | Sustainability, Education and Engagement | ESD at Planetshire University

LinkedIn POSTS | Posts on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) & Sustainability in Higher Education

Profile & Portfolio | Asitha Jayawardena | Strengths, Accomplishments & Recognition

Online Shelf | Examples of past work (PDFs, booklets, press articles, logos, etc)

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