Education for Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Education and Research at Aberystwyth

As a university, it is our responsibility to ensure that students and staff alike are educated on sustainable development to instil the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions that will have a long term impact socially, economically and environmentally. See below for more information and how we are committed to the holistic approach of sustainable development education.

Commitment to Education for Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Education 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. 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.

  • AU has undertaken an audit of the curriculum according to HEFCW guidelines. An analysis of results from institutions in Wales has been published by the Higher Education Academy, which demonstrates that 100% of AU programmes of study and 75% of AU modules have Sustainable Development incorporated. The HEA summary document:
  • The Aim 6 - Investing in Our Future includes a commitment to ESDGC:
    • continue to embed the issue of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC) within the University’s annual Planning Round,
    • roll out best practice in issues relating to the ESDGC agenda through the guidance of the appointed ESDGC Champion, and continue to monitor activity in this area across the University,
  • The Welsh Assembly Government document 'Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship: A Strategy for Action'

UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)

Launched in 2005, the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 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.

Supporting Academic Staff

All new staff are required to undertake an induction course on environmental awareness training, among other subjects, so that sustainability stays integral to all university activities and to provide a baseline of environmental consciousness. 

By 2025, we aim to have all senior decision makers receive carbon literacy training. This will ensure carbon emissions and its impacts are considered before any major works are undertaken by the university. 

Sustainability Research at Aberystwyth

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.

Equal Access to Higher Education

We want to help make higher education as accessible as possible, which is why we provide a wide range of scholarships to support the studies of both undergraduates and postgraduates

Find out more about our strategic action plan to improve access to higher education in our widening participation and widening access strategy.