University of Strathclyde

Pioneering student-led sustainability education via vertically-integrated projects


University of Strathclyde





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Institutional Approach

The University of Strathclyde, in Scotland, is actively dedicated to integrating Education for Sustainable Development into their curricula, primarily via engaging students with the UN SDGs. A study exploring the use of vertically integrated projects to embed research-based education for sustainable development in undergraduate curricula showcases this. These vertically-integrated projects are ambitious challenge-based research projects based around the SDGs which are undertaken by teams of undergraduate students in multiple years of study and across different disciplines. This approach allows longitudinal continuity of research projects, largely steered by students, as well as horizontal harmonization of transdisciplinary partnerships across faculties. Aligned with its Climate Change and Social Responsibility Plan, the university aspires to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2040. The plan is comprehensive, focusing on positively impacting local communities, fostering collaborative networks among diverse stakeholders, and delivering innovative environmental education programs. It outlines 25 deliverables connected to four key themes: addressing climate change and resource use, fostering social responsibility, collaboration across the institution, and sharing knowledge for continuous improvement. These objectives are pursued through initiatives both on and off campus, such as sustainability labs and engagement with climate-neutral districts. Notable projects such as the Climate Neutral Innovation District, a living lab for energy transition within a Glasgow city district, and the Carbon Literacy Course for staff and students contribute to these endeavors, incorporating extensive engagement with community organizations, students, staff, and teams from other universities.


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