RCE Severn-2014

1. Project Title: 
Mapping professional development in HE for ESD in Europe
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
University of Gloucestershire - RCE Severn
Project Leader
Main Contact: 
Prof Daniella Tilbury
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

RCE Severn is leading the UE4SD partnership of 55 higher education institutions, organisations and associations in 34 countries across Europe seeking to progress in sustainability innovation in the HE curriculum. RCEs across Europe were invited to contribute and participate in this project. The project was developed and completed by the 55 RCE and HE partners of the UE4SD programme. Each country completed a mapping template to highlight best practice and opportunities for professional development in ESD for university educators. From this, each of the four regional hubs in Europe produced reports which were then collated for an overall State of the Art report which was launched at the annual UE4SD Conference in Prague, October 2014. This project provided a useful grounding to develop and move forward ESD in the HE sector whilst also offering useful learning and knowledge development for all those who contributed as it allowed for experiences and approaches to be explored. This is a powerful way of bringing about change for ESD as it works to facilitate change from the ground up by enabling discourse and questioning at an inter-cultural level for RCE and HE partners across Europe.

The HE sector is an important area to focus upon as it is well positioned to bring about change for sustainable development (SD); it prepares the future generation of leaders and professionals, challenges dominant paradigms, produces ground-breaking research and plays an important role in facilitating social change. UE4SD has worked in partnership to map opportunities for university educators to develop ESD competences through professional development and identify how competences can be best developed to enhance quality academic practice in the area of sustainability. It has identified leading practice in this area in Europe and developed a publication and online platform of resources to support changes to curriculum development and academic provision in universities.

6. Project status
Having completed the first year of the UE4SD programme, this mapping project provides an incredibly insightful and useful output from which further developments can be made. From February to March 2014, four regional project meetings were organised in each regional hub and gathered partners from each region. From these meetings, management and administration issues were addressed and discussions for the first phase of the project were had.
All 55 partners identified strategic commitments and practical offerings of ESD for university staff in their respective countries. The number and diversity of partners working on this project has made for a very interesting, rich and informative report. Project partners have mapped national and institutional initiatives, schemes and activities in the area of professional development opportunities for university educators with regard to sustainability education. Collation of the final State of the Art report was led by RCE Graz/ University of Lunenburg, this brought together information, findings and opportunities identified by all 55 partners.
The State of the Art report was launched and shared at the project annual meeting and COPERNICUS Alliance Conference in October 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. This was a great opportunity to showcase the close relationship between the COPERNICUS Alliance and the RCE as it brings together experts and practitioners in the HE field of ESD to develop and evolve their strategies and approaches for both teaching and learning, and institutional change. This is now available online for those working in the field and the general public.

This mapping project is part of the bigger International UE4SD programme for which the University of Gloucestershire - RCE Severn was awarded just under 600,000 Euro to lead, through a competitive European Erasmus scheme which has a success rate of only 36%. This is a three year programme which has just completed its first year.
8. Tagging