Tag: sustainability & HE

The Role of Higher Education in Making a Sustainable Future

Dr. Tarah Wright

Dr. Tarah Wright

Hedda has earlier published a guest blog post on The University of Oslo’s Green Initiatives, along with an interview with the project leader Jorulf Brøvig Silde, who  discussed the importance of sustainability in higher education. We are pleased to announce that this will be a periodic theme on the Hedda blog. In november 2010, Global University Network for Innovation held the 5th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education with a thematic focus “Higher Education’s Commitment to Sustainability: from Understanding to Action“. One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Tarah Wright, an associate professor of environmental science at Dalhousie University in Canada. She has played a pivotal role the creation of the successful Environmental Science Program and the co-creation of the University’s innovative new College of Sustainability. Her research interests focus on education for sustainable development and she has published a number of journal articles and books on the topic. Hedda guest blogger Maryam Faghihimani interviewed Dr. Wright on the role of higher education institutions and specifically students in making a sustainable future.

Listen to the interview:

Listen interview without the flash player…

Hedda is going “Green”!

Maryam FaghihimaniGuestblogger:  Maryam Faghihimani

Maryam  is a new Hedda guestblogger who focuses on Environmental Sustainability (ES) and Higher Education. She is currently working as a researcher with the Green UiO Group ( in Norwegian only) at the University of Oslo (UiO). Maryam also has her own blog that centers on ES and Higher Education, entitled: Green is Action.

Maryam’s first Hedda blog post and video interview reviews the initiative of the Green UiO Group and its current progress.

An interview with the Green UiO Group, project leader (10:14)

Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education.

Higher education plays a unique and critical role in making a just and sustainable society. Applying knowledge for the wellbeing and development of human society represents one of the main tasks performed by universities. Therefore universities in this era cannot afford to neglect environmental issues affecting the sustainability of a society.

The term environmental sustainability (ES), according to World Commission on Environment and Development, refers to the process of observing and reconstructing the human interaction with the environment. The process signals the ideal behavior which enables us to keep the environment pristine as possible. It has to meet needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The University of Oslo goes Green

Environmental sustainability is becoming an integral part of university life.  Global trends among universities show that they are revising their missions and strategies with regards to ES.  Furthermore, taking ES into consideration, universities are restructuring study opportunities and research programs, as well as daily practices and routines on campus. The University of Oslo (UiO) is not excluded from these trends. At present, UiO has many ES activities such as; projects, surveys, organizing seminars and visits to other universities engaging in ES processes.

The concept of implementing ES is not entirely new at UiO. In 2005, the Norwegian government issued the Green State framework, which called upon public universities to embrace the Environmental Management System. It mainly focused on four operational practices at universities: energy, purchasing, waste management and transportation.

Fortunately, the current leadership at UiO (who emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability during the election campaign in 2009) has taken the concept of “The Green Campus” seriously in their planning and strategies. By mid February 2010, the pre-project of Green UiO was officially initiated by the rector of university, Ole Petter Ottersen, who invited a team of experts to study ES with regards to education, research and daily practices.

5th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education

Global University Network for Innovation

Higher Education’s Commitment to Sustainability: from Understanding to Action

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

23 – 25 November 2010

The Global  University Network for Innovation (GUNI) invites you to participate in the 5th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education. The goal of the conference is to discuss how higher education is transforming itself to contribute to the paradigm of sustainability -it includes the environmental, social, human, economic and cultural issues- for living in the planetary era and identifying aspects of this transformation in order to discuss and propose specific ways of action to advance.

The Conference offers a collective work and active participation. It will include working sessions to analyze how the world regions are advancing on the issue, using examples and good practices. It also will be a work space where participants will discuss and propose specific ways of action to move forward application.

UNESCO has considered the Conference as a follow-up event of the World Conference on Higher Education (UNESCO, 2009).

International Greening Education Event 2010

International Greening Education Event 2010

International Greening Education Event 2010

A three-day International Event on Greening Education will be held from 27th to 29th of October 2010 in the “green” city of Karlsruhe, Germany.

This event will take academia, education and environmental policy makers, senior
members of academic institutions, representatives of government and
non-governmental organisations and international development agencies,
teachers and school administrators, sustainable development and
environmental management professionals and other stakeholders through the
need for greening education and then discuss effective initiatives that can
be taken to translate “education for sustainability” in to actions.

Further to the knowledge sharing on greening education including topics such
as ecologizing curriculum (incorporating sustainability), greening of
courses and creating low carbon education institutions; the upcoming event
also provides an excellent networking opportunity with academia, sustainable
development practitioners and other stakeholders in Europe and beyond. An
excursion (optional) on Saturday the 30th of October, 2010 is planned which
will also provide an additional and informal networking opportunity.

For further information, please see the event details…

Education and Research for Sustainable and Responsible Development

gruppo_g8_summit.jpgLast week university leaders gathered for the 2nd annual G8 University Summit to discuss the four “Es”: Economics, Ethics, Energy Policy, Ecology. The summit included higher education leaders from countries in the G8 group, the G5 group (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) and the Major Economies Meeting – MEM (South Korea, Australia and Indonesia), as well as a number of countries from the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Latin America. At the conclusion of the summit, the university leaders submitted a final declaration on education and research for sustainable and responsible development to the G8 Summit of Heads of State and Government leaders meeting in July. “The Presidents attending the 2009 University Summit agree that universities should foster sustainable and responsible development at a local as much as on a global level through new approaches within the educational and research systems, and implement the following:

1. New models of social and economic development consistent with sustainability principles.

2. Ethical approaches to sustainable development.

3. New approaches to energy policy.

4. Focus on sustainable ecosystems.”