Sustainability Learning for the 21st Century

Education for Sustainability

We have a deep commitment to our student experience and to preparing our graduates for success in an ever changing world. The international field of "Education for Sustainability" (EfS) has emerged in response to urgent requirements for critical global citizenship. EfS places an emphasis on the necessary interrelationships between theory and practice; local and global scales and present and future. EfS literacies have global citizenship component that requires a critical evaluation of environment and social justice issues.

Western Sydney University has signed the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Higher Education Commitment in March 2017, joining an innovative group of Australian universities. Our University has acknowledged the responsibility 'through their teaching to equip the next generation of leaders, innovators and thinkers to understand the global challenges facing the world and the role they can play in rising to meet these challenges'.

Sustainable Futures is located in the Learning Futures Portfolio (opens in a new window) with the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning Transformations) Professor Simon Barrie. This provides us with a renewed focus on Education for Sustainability (EfS) and curriculum transformation. The newly endorsed Learning Futures Plan 2016-2020 marks the next stage of an institutional conversation about teaching and learning.

Sustainability Education at Western

Study Sustainability

The university has 32 Programs, Majors and Submajors with an "Education for Sustainability" (EfS) focus across five schools, including:

Global Action Program

The Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) (opens in a new window) seeks to generate and scale-up concrete actions in ESD. It is intended to make a substantial contribution to the post-2015 agenda. The GAP is the follow up to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) (opens in a new window). Via the UN RCE GWS we are committed to the following priorities:

  • empowering and mobilizing local Greater Western Sydney youth and
  • accelerating sustainable solutions at a local level through local collaborations, research and engagement

Electronic Submissions of Assignments

We currently have a number of technologies in place that allow electronic assignment submission to reduce paper consumption. The two main providers are: vUWS Assignment tool and Turnitin. Turnitin is used more widely due to plagiarism checking. We have a number of teaching targets to assist:

  • 100% double-sided printing of all centrally coordinated exams for 2016
  • 95% compliance rate of electronic submissions for 2020
  • 85% consistency and compliance for blended learning