University Educators For Sustainable Development

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Competences for teaching sustainable development: a reference framework

Organisations: Universities Presidents conference
High Schools Conference

Authors: Béatrice Bellini, Laboratoire CEROS, Université Paris Ouest La Défense
Yorghos Remvikos, Laboratoire CEARC, Université de Versailles SQY


The framework was conceived to allow educators, responsible for any degree or training, to reconfigure their program in order to enable students to acquire the necessary competences in relation to their professional goals and opportunities targeted by this training. With that in mind, the reference framework should not be considered as a normative framework, but rather as an analytical grid, accompanied by a methodological guide.

ESD Focus

Considered as a tool, the reference framework proposes five transversal competences, which can be adapted to any Higher education curriculum, relating to sustainable development. It aims to answer the following question: How should we train students to a systemic vision, both prospective and collective about the world in the future, by integrating one’s responsibility in an ethical approach in order to produce and accompany the necessary changes, for a sustainable future?

Professional Development Approach

Assuming that competences embrace knowledge, skills and attitudes, a working group including University lecturers and representatives of stakeholder organisations developed a reference framework (RF) for Higher Education practitioners, involved in teaching sustainable development. It is not the first document to be produced on the topic. However, we wish to insist on it being the result of a highly multi-disciplinary group that met several times over more than a year.

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