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The Futures Initiative

It has been clearly acknowledged that our University is at a strategic turning point with regard to education for sustainability (‘Strategic Plan 2011-15’ - Chapter 12). We have committed ourselves to an inter-curricula approach that acknowledges the rapidly changing circumstances and specific ‘wicked problems’ (social, economic and environmental) facing society in the twenty first century.  Reformulating the curriculum will help us to identify the aptitudes, understanding and competencies that may be needed by our graduates, both now and for this uncertain future. We also need to review this with respect to the University’s academic portfolio more generally.

This page outlines the strategy for the Futures Initiative, which will is designed to facilitate and fund departments’ across the University to review and embed sustainability within their formal, informal and campus curricula. To reflect this approach, we have adopted the term ‘education for sustainable futures’ (ESF).

The Futures Initiative programme is designed to ensure we meet our ambitions in the Strategic Plan, which aims to ensure that all our staff and students understand the need to sustainably manage our environment and address the challenges to our common future. This is explicitly cross-curricula - “using critical and creative pedagogies, the physical example of the University estate, and day-to-day practices." (Chapter 12, p.63)

Facilitated initially by a small team we aim to quickly expand engagement to a much wider group of key programme staff dedicated to the principles of ESF, to develop specific exemplars and establish good practice as a standard for the wider University.