HEIs administrative staff training is on!


The administrative staff of EUSTEPs academic partners is one of the four groups targeted by the project. The goal is to facilitate their engagement with developing the Calculator, then measuring and influencing the Footprint of their university and workspace.

Professor Francesco Frati, the Rector of the University of Siena, provided opening comments to the administrative staff training session.

The University of Siena, Italy, provided its training last week to more than 20 registrants. These included administrative staff from various Departments, the procurement office, as well as the campus energy and mobility managers. The Rector of the University, Professor Francesco Frati, started off the online live event by offering comments, reinforcing the university’s commitment to the project.

In Greece, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) has been providing the live online training to 27 registrants over three afternoons throughout the month of May, with the last one taking place today.

Meanwhile, a two-week online training entitled “EUSTEPs Module: Sustainability Training for Universities Administrative Staff”, jointly organized by Universidade Aberta (UAb) and the University of Aveiro (UA), Portugal, concluded Monday, May 17. It drew 28 administrative staff from various offices at both universities, including social services, library, academic management, technology of information and communication services, laboratories, as well as several departments, services and schools affiliated with UAb and UA yet located off the main campuses and in other cities.

The training programme focused on 4 main topics: i) Introduction to Sustainability, Ecological Overshoot, and SDGs, ii) Ecological Footprint and Sustainability in everyday life, iii) Personal Ecological Footprint, and iv) Higher Education and Sustainability Institution. The training was designed so that participants could provide feedback on how to build and run the project’s Campus Footprint Calculator in the next phase.

“The online work method adopted in the training values simultaneously individual learning and collaborative learnings,” explained Sara Moreno Pires, assistant professor at the University of Aveiro and founding faculty member of EUSTEPs. “Each topic comprises different educational materials including videos and slides, task instructions, activities, and debate forum. Also, during the training, the administrative staff participated in two synchronous sessions at the beginning and end of the course to actively engage in the training and to debate on the main parameters to be addressed in the Calculator,” she added.

Across all events, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. In particular, participants were very engaged with identifying the main drivers of their campus Ecological Footprint and coming up with initiatives that would help reduce that Ecological Footprint in one specific area (energy or mobility, for instance).

It was an extremely useful, up-to-date and necessary training for all,” stated Sónia Fidalgo, Organic Unit Advisor at the Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro, who participated in the training. “I suggest disseminating the results obtained by the trainees in order to improve knowledge, as well as creating a second edition of the training for more audiences. It is urgent to spread knowledge in the area of sustainability,” she added.

Top image: The first synchronous session of the training jointly organized by Universidade Aberta (UAb) and Universidade de Aveiro (UA) was held on May 4.