EfS for staff

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When we talk to staff at our University about sustainability, we find there's sometimes confusion about what it means to them and their life at Anglia Ruskin. So we  recruited a team of students to investigate and make some films for us, supported by General Alumni Fund.

Higher education institutions have a special responsibility to provide leadership on education for sustainable development
Higher Education Sustainability Institute for Rio+ 20

EfS in the curriculum

Sustainability is a cross-cutting theme that has a place in all university subjects, adding a dimension to learning rather than an extra topic to cover.


We're not proposing that you add content to an already full curricular. In fact, it's likely that you will find it's already covered in your subject but may not be identified as EfS. The process starts by completing a survey and reflecting on your course (you may have done this already or your course group leader may have done it for you). To help, we've gathered some resources for you.

In the meantime, here are some tips.

  • Using the label 'sustainability' helps students to recognise and reflect upon their learning. It also ensures that you meet our University's academic regulations and corporate goals around sustainability, and addresses the QAA's guidance on EfS which compliments its Quality Code for Higher Education.
  • Participatory approaches to teaching encourage students to work cooperatively, giving them the personal and social skills to understand, as well as deal with, multi-dimensional problems.
  • Teaching critical thinking through assignments and discussions will guard students against tokenism and bias. They should then be able to reflect upon information handed to them throughout their lives and challenge it.
  • Giving students the opportunity to be creative can help to engage them in an alternative vision of the future, contrary to the doom-and-gloom scenarios often presented. This aids problem-solving abilities while also harnessing motivation.


Heightened interest from your students

Research conducted by the NUS in 2014 found that over two-thirds of students feel that sustainable development is something that ought to be integrated into their university courses – a finding that has been consistently reported since 2010.  A renewal of pedagogic approaches along with diverse teaching strategies can motivate staff, as well as students, while also making a major contribution to personal development.

A course with more immediate context

According to the Higher Education Academy, EfS can be helpful by introducing immediate context (ie 'in the news' relevance) to teaching.

Links between our University and the community

The idea of learning by doing is an integral part of the EfS philosophy. That means work experience and projects that benefit the community. See the Changemakers page on MyAnglia for more information.

High-quality teaching and compliance with our University's academic requirements

The QAA sees a link between sustainability education and better-quality teaching. They published a guidance document on embedding EfS as a complement to Chapter B3 of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.

Adherence to our Corporate Plan, in which sustainability features heavily

Our Corporate Plan 2015-17 included a commitment to: 'Continue to incorporate sustainability across the curriculum and embed it generally in student life and activities'.

Contribute to creating a generation of ARU graduates that are more employable than ever before

Employers from every sector are seeking graduates that can demonstrate sustainability skills. For example, a report from Business in the Community (BITC) found that over 90% of businesses recognise a need to employ candidates with these skills to help them address sustainability issues and to continue in conditions of change and uncertainty. Read the BITC report

Students become 'global citizens' who better understand how the world works, their own responsibilities, and the impact of their behaviour

When students enter university, they do so at a point in their lives where they're open to new ideas and alternative ways of thinking. Inspiring a student while they're at university can impact the decisions they take during the rest of their lives. By harnessing this opportunity, you can not only prepare students for the world of work but also for the work of the world.

The EfS team is here to support you in implementing EfS and engaging your students in our message.

Things you can do now