Launched in November 2019, the EUSTEPs project has come to a close as scheduled. Over the past three years, the partners who led this exciting adventure spared no effort and kept their passion for sustainability education unleashed as they strived to bring their vision to life. As promised, they delivered the EUSTEPs teaching module for various audiences and the related teaching materials for students and educators – already reaching more than 7,000 students around the world – as well as admin staff. Project partners shared their Guidelines for setting-up campus-wide, transdisciplinary sustainability courses in universities as well as the e-book on integrating sustainability teaching and learning in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). They also built and launched the “Sustainability and Ecological Footprint: From Theory to Practice” MOOC, the online course which about 200 students have already registered for. Last but not least, they spearheaded and guided the development of the University Footprint Calculator and its associated User Manual (both accessible here.) The report, with recommendations for universities on how to improve data collection and Footprint calculation procedure, and where to intervene to reduce their Ecological Footprint, will be made available online in the next few days.
The team is especially proud of their success drawing more colleagues to join their effort since the onset of the project, as illustrated below by the two team pictures (first meeting v. last meeting).
The Epilogue of this adventure has yet to come, so stay tuned…
4th and final multiplier event drew close to 100 participants
Some 100 educators gathered on July 13 at a hybrid event hosted by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, with some 25 people participating in person. This brought the total number of educators reached by the EUSTEPs project to about 500. In addition to learning about the project’s vision and achievements, participants heard about the new EUSTEPs online course (MOOC) that was being launched. They were also provided with an account of the University Footprint Calculator’s implementation at several partner universities. The detailed agenda, including downloadable presentation slides, and the recording of the event are available here.
EUSTEPs impacts academic careers!
For the second time since the EUSTEPs project launched, a student from the University of Siena, one of the four EUSTEPs academic partners, decided to focus her thesis on the EUSTEPs University Footprint Calculator. Martina Pesticcio successfully defended her Master’s Thesis on Environmental Economics and Sustainability. She presented the application of the University Calculator to the University of Siena, analyzing results for 2019 and 2020 and presenting policy recommendations to improve the environmental performance of the Institution. She was supported by the Ecodynamics Group.
EUSTEPs featured in Frontiers in Education
The teaching module which stands as one of the two main pillars of the EUSTEPs project (the University Calculator is the other) is presented by the project’s founding members in a detailed, academic article published in the journal Frontiers in Education’s special issue “The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: The Response from Educational Research”. The paper describes the process that was put in place by the project partners to develop the EUSTEPs module. More precisely, it 1) presents the EUSTEPs Module, its pedagogical approach and structure, and the learning outcomes and competencies students are expected to gain; 2) reviews the outcomes of its first pilot teaching in four European HEI; and 3) sheds light on how this Module contributes to the development of competences and pedagogical approaches for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read the article
EUSTEPs at the International Conference on Sustainable Development 2022
For the third year in a row, EUSTEPs was featured at ICSD, the International Conference on Sustainable Development. On September 20, Global Footprint Network researcher Serena Mancini presented “The EUSTEPs University Footprint calculator: a monitoring tool to guide sustainability practices within HEIs.” A couple of audience members pointed out that, for some parameters like energy, an HEI might be dependent upon local policies, so the calculator might also facilitate an opening of the HEI towards its local community to raise specific issues related to sustainability. The presentation was part of the session entitled Transforming Research, Governance and Education within higher Education to support Sustainable Development. Panelists converged on the importance that sustainability be considered central to the mission of HEIs, and of ensuring that all HEIs share sustainability experiences and practices. Furthermore, they discussed the value of creating (or growing) more networks to discuss sustainability within and across organizations to transform their approach to supporting sustainable development.