The project we are presenting is the continuation at the UdG of European project UE4SD “University Educators for Sustainable Development” led by Daniella Tilbury and involving 53 partners from 33 European countries, which enabled us to analyse the ‘state’ of applied sustainability in degree curricula at the UdG, and to conclude that it needed to be consolidated. Although in the wake of Royal Decree RD 1393/2007, the UdG incorporated transversal competence in sustainability in 2008, and in 2010 designed a teaching guide for its application, we must admit that there is a need to continue working on ways to achieve this incorporation, in order for our students to fully comprehend the issue. At the present time, and in view of the SDG, this is a more pressing need than ever. We have therefore extended the research that has already begun with external and internal agents, as foreseen by the Horizon 2020 programme, to ensure that our innovations and research meet the terms of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).
At the GRECA research group, in partnership with the Chair for University Social Responsibility at the UdG, which includes an Advisory Board involving a variety of social agents, we have set up a process to analyse ways of improving this competence. The research is leading us to identify current and future teacher competences in this field; the difficulties, threats, strengths and opportunities at the UdG for carrying out this process; and the implication of the university community along with the entities and institutions in the region, for achieving that. We are doing so using participative and co-creative methodologies and techniques (Senge, Scharmer and J. Mackewn), whereby we hope to achieve a greater implication of society (businesses, general public, entities, NGO’s, public administrations, etc.) and the university community (teachers, researchers and service/admin staff) in meeting this target.
To date, we have already analysed the matter with external agents, associated to the Chair, and their contributions have been very useful for identifying the knowledge, skills and values in which social agents expect university students to be trained in order to apply the principles of sustainability to different areas of society. We have also analysed the matter with some internal agents. In the first phase with university professors, which we must complement with a follow-up phase; we have also analysed the subject with students from all faculties that were invited by the Student Council and whose contributions regarding the knowledge, skills and values in which they feel that they should be trained partly coincide with those that are being demanded by civilian society. A work session is still pending with the administration and service staff at the university and, on the basis of everyone’s conclusions, we hope to be able to formulate a training proposal to the university.
We are convinced that all this work, which we should be able to complete in a year, fully relates to the achievement SDG’s 4 and 17. The fact that we are working with all sectors of society to improve university education will not only help open up the university to society and its proposals, but will also help us to work in partnerships with all stakeholders in achieving the SDG’s together.
Some publications can be viewed on the Chair website while there is also a news section: