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Institutional Support for ESD in the Curriculum: A case study from the School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University

Matthews, hannah and Vargas, Valeria (2018) Institutional Support for ESD in the Curriculum: A case study from the School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University. Learning and Teaching in Action, 13 (1). pp. 97-114. ISSN 1477-1241

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Abstract

Manchester Metropolitan University has a number of institutional priorities and resources associated with embedding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within the curriculum. These include the University’s Strategy for Learning, Teaching and Assessment 1, the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, professional development workshops and a designated ESD coordinator. In an effort to assess staff awareness and engagement with this agenda, semi-structured interviews were carried out with coordinators from 24 separate units in the School of Science and the Environment. The study examined both inter and intra disciplinary responses in the divisions of Biology, Chemistry and Forensics, and Environmental and Geographical Sciences. The findings suggest that there is a lack of awareness of internal drivers (for example the inclusion of requirements for ESD in University Strategies), resources, and additional external drivers (for example, HEFCE/QAA, REF, and TEF requirements). Whilst most agree that ESD is an important student employability factor, there is less uniformity in agreement concerning the subject specific relevance of ESD. The barriers to the uptake of ESD observed by this study are largely consistent with those presented in the literature. Recommendations from this study to increase engagement in ESD at Manchester Metropolitan University are mainly focused on awareness raising and professional development of staff in a sector/ subject specific context.

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