Sustainable Development Education and Research at Aberystwyth
Education is the means through which sustainable development can be achieved. It enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things, individually and collectively, locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet of the future. Education for Sustainable Development is not a subject in itself, but a holistic educational approach. In recognition of this, the integration of sustainability into education is one of Aberystwyth's main aims in the Strategic Plan to 2017. Several national and international policy developments have also compounded Aberystwyth's commitments to sustainable education, making the case for it stronger.
Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship
Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) is a scheme run by the Welsh Government which seeks to give learners, at all stages of education, an understanding of the impact of their choices on other people, the economy and the environment. ESDGC aims to challenge learners to see how they can contribute to the lives of others. It is being mainstreamed across all higher education institutions and embedded in a wide range of subjects.
UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)
Launched in 2005, the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (pdf) means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning; for example, climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption. It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behaviour and take action for sustainable development. Education for Sustainable Development consequently promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way. Aberystwyth has taken these insights on board in the development of its own sustainable teaching and education strategies.
Sustainability Research at Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth also undertakes world leading research in environmental issues and sustainability, from animal and microbial sciences, environmental impact, genome diversity key research themes and environmental enterprise schemes in the IBERS department, to glaciology, environmental change, river hydrology and dynamics, Earth and ecology observation, environment and society research in the DGES department.