An overview of extra-curricular education for sustainable development (ESD) interventions in UK universities

Lipscombe, B. P. and Burek, C. V. and Potter, J. A. and Ribchester, C. and Degg, M. R. (2008) An overview of extra-curricular education for sustainable development (ESD) interventions in UK universities. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9 (3). pp. 222-234. ISSN 14676370 (ISSN)

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Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent and type of extra-curricular ESD-related practice in UK universities and to record opinions about the utility of such work. Design/methodology/approach - A postal questionnaire survey of all UK universities was undertaken in 2006. Over half (51 per cent) of the UK's 140 universities with degree-awarding powers responded. Findings - Extra-curricular ESD-related interventions were found to be widespread and in 31 per cent of cases were the primary approach to ESD. Respondent opinions highlight a paradox whereby the voluntary nature of extra-curricular interventions can both extend and limit the reach of ESD. Research limitations/implications - The survey approach gathers impressions of UK practice at one point in time, only. Further case study research to look at the impact of such practice is now under way. Practical implications - In the UK, much recent work to support ESD has focused on efforts to support curriculum change. The paper suggests that attention should also be directed at the extra-curricular sphere in parallel. Originality/value - This paper partly fills a gap in the literature, there being little empirical enquiry into extra-curricular ESD in higher education. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :4; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Lipscombe, B. P.; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester, Chester, United Kingdom; email: b.lipscombe@chester.ac.uk; References: Bawden, R., Sustainability as emergence: The need for engaged discourse (2004) Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability: Problematics, Promise and Practice, pp. 21-32. , Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht; Blaze Corcoran, P., Wals, A.E.J., The promise of sustainability in higher education: A synthesis (2004) Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability: Problematics, Promise and Practice, pp. 223-5. , Blaze Corcoran, P. Wals, A.E.J. Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht; Blewitt, J., Sustainability in lifelong learning (2004) The Sustainability Curriculum: The Challenge for Higher Education, pp. 24-39. , Blewitt, J. Cullingford, C. Earthscan London; Calder, W., Clugston, R., Lighting many fires: South Carolina's sustainable universities initiative (2004) Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability: Problematics, Promise and Practice, pp. 249-61. , Blaze Corcoran, P. Wals, A.E.J. Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht; Camino, E., Barbiero, G., Perazzone, A., Colucci-Gray, L., Linking research and education to promote an integrated approach to sustainability (2005) Handbook of Sustainability Research, pp. 535-61. , Leal Filho, W. Peter Lang Frankfurt; Clugston, R., Calder, W., Critical dimensions of sustainability in higher education (1999) Sustainability and University Life, pp. 31-46. , Leal Filho, W. Peter Lang New York, NY; Cullingford, C., Sustainability in higher education (2004) The Sustainability Curriculum: The Challenge for Higher Education, pp. 13-23. , Blewitt, J. Cullingford, C. Earthscan London; Ferrer-Balas, D., Bruno, J., Advances in education transformation towards sustainable development at the Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona (2004) International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 5 (3), pp. 251-66; Haigh, M., Greening the university curriculum: Appraising the international movement (2005) Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29 (1), pp. 33-50; Hefce, (2005) Sustainable Development in Higher Education, , Higher Education Funding Council for England Bristol; Higgit, D., Haigh, M., Chalkey, B., Towards the UN decade of education for sustainable development: Introduction (2005) Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 29 (1), pp. 13-17; Huckle, J., Critical realism: A philosophical framework for higher education for sustainability (2004) Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability: Problematics, Promise and Practice, pp. 33-46. , Blaze Corcoran, P. Wals, A.E.J. Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht; Knight, P., Unsustainable developments (2005) The Guardian, , 8 February; Sterling, S., Higher education, sustainability and the role of systemic learning (2004) Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability: Problematics, Promise and Practice, pp. 49-70. , Blaze Corcoran, P. Wals, A.E.J. Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht; Sterling, S., Scott, W., (2007), "England contribution", paper presented at 1st International Meeting on Implementation of Education for Sustainable Development for Higher Education Institutes (IMESD), AmsterdamThomas, I., Sustainability in tertiary curricula: What is stopping it happening? (2004) International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 5 (1), pp. 33-47; Wals, A.E.J., Jickling, B., 'Sustainability' in higher education: From doublethink and newspeak to critical thinking and meaningful learning (2002) International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 3 (3), pp. 221-32; Wced, (1987) Our Common Future, , Oxford University Press Oxford
Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher education; Questionnaires; Surveys; Sustainable development; United Kingdom
Depositing User: Colin Lowry
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2015 09:51
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2747

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