RCE Severn-2013

1. Project Title: 
Leading Curriculum Change for Sustainability: Strategic Approaches to Quality Enhancement
3. Project partner contact information : 
University of Gloucestersire - RCE Severn
Project leader
Main Contact: 
Daniella Tilbury, dtilbury@glos.ac.uk
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

This flagship project was led by RCE Severn (hosted at University of Gloucestershire) and funded by the HE Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The project received £201,375 and involved four other RCE Severn partners, who worked together to help frame, design and implement the overall project.

The project was inspired by the need for strategic approaches to scale up ESD in the HE curriculum and to integrate it into the educational ‘core business’ of universities. It started from recognition that HE graduates have significant potential impact in societies and will need skills and capabilities in sustainability for their future working lives in all professions and occupations. Previously, ESD has mainly taken place in HE through small scale and isolated good practice examples that showcase ESD at classroom or course level. The challenge was to bring ESD into central curriculum development processes that influence course design and delivery in all subjects.

The project design was informed by systems thinking and the need to engage a range of stakeholders both locally and nationally to build capacity for ESD in HE. It was carried out over 2 years (October 2010- September 2012) and sought collaboration and change at several levels:

1) Institutional (local/regional): through pilot projects, co-ordinated by the RCE Severn at University of Gloucestershire as the lead institution, with development work taking place over four phases, to establish strategic policy and practices for ESD in the university curriculum.

2)Sector (national/UK-wide): by collaboration with key government departments located in UK HE, including close work with the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) that manages HE curriculum frameworks and an expert board of key sector influencers and university leaders.

3) University educators and professional staff: working with teaching staff and curriculum managers, through the pilots at RCE partner universities as well as the national workshops and project conference, as well as the core output of an online toolkit for HE staff.

This project was unique in its focus on Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Enhancement (QE), the two aspects of HE teaching and learning geared to raising standards, fuelling innovation and the management of ESD in the curriculum. It brought ESD into the heart of the HE system and broke new ground for ESD as the first project to tackle this issue worldwide. The project findings have relevance for other levels of education and for countries outside the UK.

7. Provide references and reference materials : 
6. Project status
8. Tagging