Today I have sent off a letter to Michael Gove who is the Secretary of State for Education. (copy of the letter)
Why? A national petition is being circulated via Change.org to urge Michael Gove to keep sustainability in the English National Curriculum. The new curriculum barely acknowledges the environment and sustainability even though it underpins our economy and society. Future generations will need to be prepared through developing the knowledge, skills and creativity to become future leaders that have to tackle even greater environmental and social challenges than seen today.
Ensuring sustainability is embedded throughout your university education at ARU it is threaded in throughout our University Corporate Plan 2012-14.
Corporate Value - Concern for the environment: We want our concern for a sustainable environment to inform every aspect of what we do.
Corporate Goal 4 -Every member of academic staff will be engaged in research or current professional practice in their academic discipline. Specifically: Make sustainability a theme that runs through much of our research work.
Corporate Goal 7 - Students will use the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) on a daily basis, sustainability will be a feature of their experience, and most full-time on-campus students will be involved in activity outside the academic curriculum. Which specifically seeks to: Incorporate sustainability across the curriculum and embed generally in student life and activities. Achieve a place in the top ten of at least one environmental benchmarking scheme.
Milestone: Percentage of students who say that sustainability was a feature of their experience.
2012 - 10%
2013 - 25%
2014 - 30%
A strategy to achieve this at ARU is to: Use data to inform staff and students about sustainability issues and to improve active participation in green initiatives.
NUS and HEA also found through research that over 95% of University students believe they need 8 sustainable development competencies in order to get jobs. But we cannot as an institution expect to deliver this effectively if students coming to university do not already have the essential underpinning knowledge prior to coming to higher education. Our ambition is to develop sustainability literate graduates but we cannot achieve this if our students have no exposure to sustainability as part of their school education. As your SU President and a Governor of this university, I truly believe we need to be lobbying Government to retain sustainability within the curriculum.
You can find out how to get more involved in sustainability through visiting the Plan G site, connecting with the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), get involved with the Go Green Movement, the Global Responsibility Leadership Initiative and many more ways.
Feel free to get in touch.