Sustainable Development in Higher Education What has Europe got to offer?

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1 Sustainable Development in Higher Education What has Europe got to offer? Delft University of Technology Baldiri Salcedo-Rahola, Karel Mulder, with contributions of Jordi Segalas and Didac Ferrer-Balas

2 Contents 0. Foreword 1. Introduction 2. The need for interdisciplinary 2.1. The role of technology 2.2. The role of science 2.3. The role of social science 2.4. Interdisciplinary is crucial 3. Developing networks on SD education 3.1. History of Sustainable Development 3.2. Sustainable Development Education 3.3. Sustainable Development and Engineering Education 4. Institutional change: University politics 4.1. Top down or bottom up? 4.2. The shortcoming of disciplinarism 5. Learning strategies for SD 5.1. Basic courses 5.2. Integration on existing courses 6. SD pedagogy 7. Future prospects 8. Specialized SD MSc programs 9. SD MSc Masters taken in account in this report 10. Categorization of SD MSc Masters 11. Trend of the market of specialized SD MSc programs Structure Internationalization Specialization Costs Risks 12. Conclusions 13. References I. List of SD MSc programs II. List of other existing SD MSc programs

3 FORWORD This report will give a broad overview of Higher Education for Sustainable Development in Europe. It is made within the framework of the SDPROMO project. This project is funded by the EU Erasmus Mundus program and is carried out by KTH, Stockholm, UPC, Barcelona and Delft UT. The aim of this project is promoting SD related educational programs of European universities in three regions of the world: Latin America Countries that belonged to the former Soviet Union China The project participants do not consider European universities as the source of all SD wisdom. Therefore three reports have been made to analyze the (specific) challenges for SD in these three regions of the world, the potential demand side. It is the aim of this report to give an overview of European Higher Education in SD, the potential supply side. It will focus on specific SD related Msc. programs as these are most relevant for international cooperation. To get a better understanding of these programs, this report will first sketch how the issue of SD was taken up by higher education institutes in Europe in the 1990s, and what the barriers and dilemmas were. Integration of SD in not-sd focused programs as well as its integration in Bsc. level education was for long time a main issue. With the introduction of the Bachelor-Master system, many new SD focused Masters Programs emerged. 3

4 0. INTRODUCTION To follow the sustainable development (SD) path we need a fundamental, transformative shift in thinking, values and action by all society s leaders, professionals and the general public. To quote Albert Einstein, The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. (Covey, 2004: 42) Society needs scientists, engineers, managers and politicians who can shape the systems of our society in a way that sustains rather than degrades the natural environment and enhances human health and well-being for all. For technology this can imply seeking inspiration in biological models and operating on renewable energy (as in nature there is neither waste nor resource depletion). The concept of waste must be eliminated as every waste product should be a raw material or nutrient for other species or activities or returned into the cycles of nature. Human activities must be organized in such a way that the biological diversity and complexity of ecosystems on which we all depend, is maintained or restored. Humans should live off nature s interest, not its capital. In this context, higher education institutions have the responsibility to deliver graduates that have achieved the moral vision and the necessary technical knowledge to assure the quality of life for future generations. This implies that sustainable development will be the framework in which higher education has to focus its mission (Corcoran et al., 2002: ). Stephen Sterling maintains that the nature of sustainability requires a fundamental change of epistemology, and therefore, of education. He wrote: Sustainability is not just another issue to be added to an overcrowded curriculum, but a gateway to a different view of curriculum, of pedagogy, of organizational change, of policy and particularly of ethos. At the same time, the effect of patterns of unsustainability on our current and future prospects is so pressing that the response of higher education should not be predicated only on the integration of sustainability into higher education, because this invites a limited, adaptive, response. We need to see the relationship the other way around that is, the necessary transformation of higher education towards the integrative and more whole state implied by a systemic view of sustainability in education and society. (Sterling, 2004: 49-70) 4

5 1. THE NEED FOR INTERDISCIPLARITY 1.1. The role of technology Many technology critics have argued that technology is the root cause of the lack of sustainability in society (Cf. Brauni, 1995). However, such a statement would involve that one could sharply discern between a technology as such and its social context, i.e. the way it is used, and its services are organized. Such a distinction can only be made superficially: The problem of the car is not its technology as such: it is its wasteful and polluting nature combined with the scale-, and the way of use. It determines a lifestyle that is characterized by transport (Flink, 1990). In solving unsustainabilities, we cannot just focus on technology without addressing this social context. However, neglecting technology in the quest for SD will greatly diminish our options for solutions, and will probably not get much support among the population. Therefore, technology is important for Sustainable Development. However, the sustainable technology is not going to be the one that chops the trees faster and more efficiently, but the one that allows us make trees to a renewable resource, by increasing the quality, or useful lifetime of the trunks, or by providing the same service with far less trunks. What improvements in the environmental efficiency of technologies do we need? In the 1970s it was debated which factors mainly contributed to the problems we were facing: consumption growth, overpopulation or the state of technology. The relationship between these factors can be described by the so called IPAT equation: I = P * A * T I = Total environmental impact of mankind on the planet P = Population A = Affluence, number of products or services consumed per person, i.e. for economists the annual Gross National Product per capita; T = Environmental Impact per unit of product/service consumed. This is often called the factor Technology efficiency. However note that T diminishes as technologies become more efficient! Moreover, T also reflects more or less non-technological issues like product reuse and the organization of production. (Ehrlich et al., 1971: ) 5

6 The IPAT equation might be used to get some more clarity on the magnitude of the environmental technological efficiency improvements that we have to reach in the long term. Therefore we need estimates of the various factors: Environmental Impact. Our current use of natural resources is unsustainable. Suppose we want to cut it by half. Population growth has been exponential. In the year 2000, world population was approximately 6 billion. In the past decade, we have seen declining population growth rates. This is especially due to the devastating effects of the HIV epidemic. In large parts of Africa, and also on an increasing scale in Asia, up to half of the teenagers are HIV positive. Not only the direct death toll is important, but especially the fact that youngsters do not reach the age of reproduction. Population growth is hardly affected by government policies. Even large wars hardly influence it. Only long term policies might stabilize the global population. A growing affluence contributes considerably to a decline of population growth. The global population in the year 2050 is predicted to be between 8 and 11 billion people. Therefore, a rough estimate of population growth is a factor of 1.5 (Pearce, 2003). Affluence. The richest 20 % of the worlds population is roughly consuming 80 % of the worlds resources. This leaves only 20 % for the remaining 80 % of the worlds population (UNDP, 2003). The rich people of this world therefore consume on average 16 times more resources than the poor ones. The economies of the rich world are growing on average by 2 % annually. Over a 50 year period this implies a growth factor of 2.7. If the poorer nations want to catch up with the richer nations, they need to grow by a factor 16 * 2.7 = 43.2, which means an annual growth of 7.8 %. The combined growth of the poorer and richer parts of the population can then be calculated. Let s assume consumption now is 100. The rich consume 80, growth 2.7 so consumption in 50 years 216, Poor consume now 20, growth 43.2 so consumption in 50 years 864, which leads to a total consumption of 1080, or 10.8 times the starting level. If we substitute these estimates into the IPAT equation, technology should be 32.4 times more environmentally efficient than it is today (Mulder, 2006). 2.2 The Role of Science Until the 18 th century, science and technology were almost entirely separate realms of activity: academic science was practiced out of curiosity. It was not geared to improving technology. Optimization of technology is an important legitimation of modern science. However, this legitimation is rather recent. Mediaeval scholars were mainly aiming at unveiling the beauties of divine creation. A 6

7 very early example of the application of science to technology can be seen in Galileo s work, around the turn of the 17 th century: Galileo was the first to show that, if air resistance is disregarded, the acceleration of a falling body is independent of its mass, allowing him to calculate the parabolic orbits of projectiles. The resulting tables proved to be a powerful tool for gunners, enabling them to accurately determine the firing angle needed to hit any target at a given range. Technology was certainly not applied science. Its operation often preceded the formulation of scientific principles: the first steam engines (Newcomen, 1712; Watt, 1770) preceded the formulation of the thermodynamic principles explaining their operation by more than a century (Carnot 1824; Joule 1845). As Lawrence J. Henderson penetratingly wrote (Henderson, 1917): Science is infinitely more indebted to the steam engine, than is the steam engine to science i. However, in the 20 th century, science and technology became much more interconnected. In the Manhattan project, the first nuclear bombs were developed by scientists and engineers jointly, using newly developed scientific theories. The first experiments with nuclear chain reactions not only proofed scientific theories but also created plutonium for the nuclear fission bomb. Science does play an important role in developing more sustainable technologies. However, science is also important for SD for recognizing our global problems: Sustainable Development deals with the creation of civilized society that has the capacity for longer term survival. This longer survival is depending on the life sustaining systems of this planet. The mechanisms that control these systems are often widely unknown. Science therefore has to warn us if threats emerge as we often do not recognize them. For example, our knowledge of the threats of climate change, decreasing biodiversity, or the ozone layer depletion by chloro-fluoro-carbons ii all depended on science. Science might contribute to SD in three ways: By giving information on (threats to) the life sustaining systems of this planet. Very often these systems can only be assessed by science alone (Climate change, geological deposits, biodiversity). By showing us options for new technologies that might create a leap in Sustainability. Nuclear fusion might be an example. By giving us tools to analyze and optimize technologies i L.J. Henderson was the first president of the History of Science Society, see: Henderson on the Social System: Selected Writings, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ii The ozone layer blocks harmful radiation that causes skin cancer. 7

8 Science might appear to be a wholly factual and neutral activity, unrelated to the social world. This issue is controversial. Scientific knowledge is often claimed not just to represent facts, but also to be a product of its time. Moreover, where do research challenges originate from? Who determines what to analyze, and what not to analyze? How are scientific results utilized in political discourse? How can underprivileged groups get access to science if they are confronted with science backed opponents? The role of science in our society is powerful one. For SD, science students should learn to understand its role in society. 2.3 The Role of Social Science In paragraph 2.1, the IPAT equation was described. Social sciences play a role in the P factor: how could the population numbers be stabilized? In the A factor: at what level are peoples needs satisfied? What level of inequity (distribution in A factor) is (un-)acceptable? the T factor: how to organize technological systems in such a way that they fulfill needs without harming culture? What undesired effects of technology occur? However, there are even more basic questions: There is often a distinction made between needs and wants. The distinction refers to legitimation of needs. Is a car a legitimate need? In the US? In China? In Burundi? There are basic needs (such as safety, health, clean air, food, water, education, clothing, shelter) but the way in which these needs take shape is depending on culture. Sustainable Development is not something to be enforced upon people, neither by external powers nor by local rulers. This leads to the question how much power might be acceptable to enforce Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development respects local cultures, but what if local cultures support unsustainable practices? People should be empowered to take control of their own destiny. Then how can people be motivated to adopt sustainable modes of behavior? How to organize systems in such a way that they become sustainable and in line with local cultures? Systems that provide services for society s needs are often optimizing their own income, thereby creating unsustainable situations. Corporate Social Responsibility is a way to take this into account. How can negative effects of business activities be prevented or compensated? 8

9 Changing the world into the direction of Sustainable Development is a tough process. It implies the change of systems. But systems have an internal dynamics and can be resilient. How to start the process of change? Which actors to involve and how to overcome barriers? How to implement policies and to involve stakeholders? How to compensate those that are threatened or at risk by change? 2.4 Interdisciplinarity crucial Social science cannot yet fully answer these questions. Moreover, science and technology continually change, create new options but sometimes also new threats. No discipline can fully meet the demands of Sustainable Development. Multidisciplinarity is therefore very important, but we learned that it is not sufficient. The various disciplines have their own vision of reality. If natural scientists and social scientists on the same problem they do not necessarily end up developing an integrated solution for a problem. To achieve that, they need to cooperate and challenge each others solutions, interdisciplinary research. However, we should even aim at going one step further. Not only various scientist should be involved in finding sustainable solutions. Stakeholders should also be actively involved in such research. Without their involvement, solutions will not be acceptable in real life. Transdisciplinary research aims at developing solutions by various relevant disciplines and stakeholder involvement. Transdisciplinary research is not only crucial to come up with solutions that meet the requirements of SD. Transdisciplinarity is also crucial for the learning process in higher education. Universities tend to educate their graduates to know everything about nothing, i.e. to decrease the width of education and increase disciplinary depth. However, to come up with solutions we should train graduates to be able to make the link between disciplines. 3 DEVELOPING NETWORKS ON SD EDUCATION 3.1 History of Sustainable Development After the first wave of environmentalism that was triggered by Rachel Carsons Silent Spring (Carson et al., 1962) and the report to the Club of Rome (Meadows et al., 1972) environmental issues gradually conquered a position in political agendas. In 1973, the first UN conference on Environmental issues was held in Stockholm (U.N., 1972). Not only this conference, but also the first oil crisis put the environment on the political agenda of all industrialized nations. In the final declaration of the conference, also the importance of environmental education was acknowledged. 9

10 Environmental concerns were reinforced by what gradually became the first global environmental catastrophe: In 1975, Rowland and Molina warned for CFC induced ozone layer thinning, which was the first warning for a global environmental emergency (Molina et al., 1974). 3.2 Sustainable Development Education In 1977, the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organized a conference in Tbilisi on environmental education. This conference acknowledged the interdependence between the environment and ethical/social/cultural/economic issues: Whereas it is a fact that biological and physical features constitute the natural basis of the human environment, its ethical, social, cultural, and economic dimensions also play their part in determining the lines of approach and the instruments whereby people may understand and make better use of natural resources in satisfying their needs. In its final declaration, principles for environmental education policies were formulated (GDRC, 1977). Although the Tbilisi declaration pled for general environmental education, environmental studies became a new academic discipline. In many European universities, environmental departments were founded and new environmental study programs were implemented. The core content of these programs was often ecosystems analysis, modeling of mass flows and energy flows, effectiveness of regulation and drivers of environmental consumer behavior. The environmental studies programs were interdisciplinary in character but soon became a new discipline of their own that were not very effective in engaging other disciplines in this issue. In general, not much happened in regard to integrating environmental issues in other disciplines. An exception is chemistry and chemical engineering where environmental and health issues were often part of the curriculum. In 1987, the report of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development was accepted by the UN General Assembly. This Brundlandt report emphasized the interdependence of development and environment, the limits of the Earths systems and the responsibilities towards future generations (WCED, 1987). The report changed the situation considerably. This new interest led to the Earth Summit, the Rio de Janeiro conference on Environment and Development of 1992 (UN, 1992). Universities started recognizing the challenge. In 1990, Tufts University initiated a meeting in Talloires, France, that led to the first declaration in which the responsibility of universities was firmly established (Talloires declaration, 1990). The "University Leaders for Sustainable Future (USLF, US based) was created after this declaration. This association is the secretariat of more than

11 universities in more than 40 countries that have signed the Talloires Declaration and promote education for Sustainable Development with regard to the Earth charter. In the fall of 1993, the issue of SD was put on the agenda of the European Rectors Conference (CRE). CRE created the Copernicus Charter that specifically focused on the role that universities had to play in regard to SD (Copernicus charter, 1993). A secretariat was established. Many European universities signed this charter. However, signing was not identical to implementing it. Very often, signing the declaration was no more than lip-service to SD. In its first decade, the Copernicus declaration, and the fact that it carried the signature of their own rector, were often discovered by active student groups. They could use the signature to keep the university to its promises, even if the signing rector had left his office. By now, 2008, more than 320 universities and higher education institutions from 38 countries across Europe have signed the Copernicus Charter, thereby declaring that they will give sustainable development an important place in their activities. The Copernicus secretariat was for a while able to keep this spirit alive by organizing European meetings. In the year 2000 the Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership (GHESP) was formed. The GHESP represents over 1000 universities, which have committed themselves to making sustainability the central goal of their education and operations. In 2001, the members of the GHESP signed the Lüneburg Declaration committing themselves to: - Promoting the subscription and implementation of the Kyoto, Talloires and Copernicus declarations. - Creating a tool of performance addressed to universities, business agents, administrators, teachers and students, designed to go from commitment to action. - Improving the development and networking of regional centers of excellence in developed and developing countries (Lunenburg Declaration, 2001). In several countries and regions, like Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Scotland and England, networks were created to promote the integration of SD in higher education. Various existing organizations and networks have addressed the issue of SD in higher education like the European Networks Conference on Sustainability in Practice (ENCOS), the International Symposium IGIP/IEEE/ASEE Local Identity, Global Awareness, Engineering Education Today, the Society for Industrial Ecology, the Greening of Industry Network, Environmental Management for Sustainable Universities (EMSU), Congreso Iberoamericano de Educación Ambiental, the European Federation of Engineering Schools (SEFI), the engineering association IEEE, the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS), etc. Moreover, this interest has led to the publication of various books and articles and the creation of the International Journal of Sustainable Development in Higher Education (2000). 11

12 3.3 Sustainable Development and Engineering Education First actions to integrate SD into engineering education emerged from the EU Comett II program. This program facilitated international environmental training programs. However, after this EU program was terminated, annual conferences were continued. From 1993 to 2001, 9 Environmental Education for Engineers conferences were held (EEE network, 2008). In 2002, this network got a new boost by reformulating its mission as Engineering Education in Sustainable Development (EESD). The focus of EESD was turned away from environmental engineering, and aimed at including the SD challenge in its entirety into engineering education. After the first EESD conference in Delft in 2002, with 195 participants, a second conference was organized in Barcelona, which had 260 participants. At this conference, the Barcelona Declaration on engineering education in sustainable development was formulated. In 2006, EESD convened in Lyon, and in September 2008, it will have its fourth meeting in Graz, Austria. One of the concrete outputs of the EESD network has been the creation of the EESD observatory, which develops a biannual report about the status of sustainability in European engineering education. 4 INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE: UNIVERSITY POLITICS 4.1 Top down or bottom up? How to accomplish changes in Engineering Schools? An important distinction here is between the academic institutions that are mainly research driven and the professional schools for which education is the core constituent. The research driven technological institutions cannot be changed by top down measures. Lecturers have a high degree of independence in their research and often consider teaching as the nasty part that comes with the job. They cannot be ordered to do SD, but need to be convinced. However, support for SD by the University board, or its president, is crucial. Some pressure might help but convincing is generally more effective than ordering (Sammalisto, 2007). 4.2 The shortcomings of disciplinarism As has been made clear in the introduction, leaps in environmental efficiency are needed. These can only be achieved by systems innovation, i.e. innovations that do not limit themselves to an improved 12

13 performance of a single piece of equipment, but change the configuration of systems and thereby involve several engineering -, science-, as well as social science disciplines. Important is to recognize that this is not adding up knowledge fields: if we want to really come up with sustainable solutions, scientists should be willing to interact across disciplinary borders, as well as be willing to involve stakeholders in their work. Solutions are of no use if stakeholders do not accept them. This means a drastic change for universities. Disciplinarism is a deeply rooted constituent of the academic culture. What has been experienced is that disciplinarism is very hard to change. However, a good strategy was to take disciplinary pride as a starting point: What is the value of a discipline that is not able to contribute to SD? Posing this question is a good start for dialogue (Peet et al., 2004). There are different aspects that determine how successful or effective the introduction of SD in engineering education will be: a) Legitimacy: Is it seen as legitimate for teachers/researchers to focus on environment and sustainable development in research and in education? b) Effective structure of organization: Is the educational organization structured in such a way that it enables to work on SD? c) Responsibility: Is the responsibility to work on SD clearly defined? d) Skilled staff: Are there many professors in the organization that have experience in SD? e) Commitment in university management: Is the university management determined to integrate ESD in the educational programs? (Holmberg et al., forthcoming) 5 LEARNING STRATEGIES FOR SD 5.1 Basic Courses Sterling (2004) divided the integration of Sustainable development in the curriculum three phases: 1. bolting on, which implies the addition of an extra course to the curriculum 2. reformation, which implies to integrate SD in several courses like for example design work, exercises, or adding specific SD examples to theoretical courses 3. Transformation, which implies the redesign of a curriculum based on the need for SD. Special courses on SD for Engineers were developed by various Engineering schools. Integration of SD in existing courses is dealt with in section 5.2. Engineering curricula that are especially devoted to SD are dealt with in section 6. The content of SD for Engineers courses differs considerably. SD for Engineers is not an established field and therefore lecturers started developing their own material, based on their own judgment. 13

14 The Engineering Council (2005) in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence declared that chartered engineers must be competent throughout their working life, by virtue of their education, training and experience, to undertake engineering activities in a way that contributes to sustainable development. This includes abilities to: - Operate and act responsibly, taking account of the need to progress environmental, social and economic outcomes simultaneously - Use imagination, creativity and innovation to provide products and services which maintain and enhance the quality of the environment and community, and meet financial objectives - Understand and encourage stakeholder involvement. - The Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) states in its Sustainable 2015 Plan that (UPC, 2006): All the UPC graduates will apply sustainability criteria to their professional activity and to its area of influence In relation to how these competences should be acquired, there have been developed many approaches, which follow a similar pattern (Segalas et al., 2006): 1. To offer a basic compulsory/elective course for all (or most) students, 2. To embed SD in the 'ordinary' courses 3. To offer the possibility of specializing in SD Bachelor diploma or Master Degrees. 4. In our view, engineering students are often trained at defining the best technological solution for a well-defined problem. However, SD problems are often ill defined. Solutions cannot be produced with a single trick. Especially systemic innovations involve interdisciplinary knowledge, the capacity to interact with stakeholders and a long-term perspective. Therefore, students should learn to see their work in its larger context: How does my technological design contribute to solving the large issues like resource depletion, inequity and climate change? How could I gain support from other stakeholders? How should I change my designs to contribute more to long term SD and make my designs socially, economically, environmentally and politically more attractive? This means that a basic SD course should aim at showing engineering students the big picture in which their work takes place. But what is the big picture of Sustainable Development for Engineers? Karel Mulder wrote a textbook Sustainable Development for Engineers containing chapters on: 1 Why do we need sustainability? 2 Why is the current world system unsustainable? 3 Patterns of development 4 Sustainable development and economic, social and political structures 14

15 5 Technology the culprit or the saviour? 6 Measuring sustainability 7 Sustainable development and the company: why, what and how? 8 Design and sustainable development 9 Innovation processes 10 Technology for sustainable development (Mulder, 2006) Several Engineering Schools have basic courses on SD & Engineering. Some of these courses are optional. For example, UPC offers a distant learning course. 5.2 Integration of Sustainable Development in existing courses A next phase of Sustainabilising the curriculum is integrating SD into various courses, projects and subjects that are part of it. Especially in the case of projects and design work, this is easy. However, a basic problem is that this integration presupposes that the lecturers are able and willing to accomplish this. Often this is not the case. Many lecturers stick to a completely disciplinary perspective, presupposing that education for SD is best be carried out by studying their own discipline. Adequate intertwining of sustainable development in disciplinary courses will depend on the nature of the course. A design course demands another approach than a fundamental natural science course. Successful approaches to intertwine SD in disciplinary courses are often based on the Individual Interaction Method developed at DUT (Peet et al., 2004). In that method, SD professionals look for individual change of academics through dialogue by raising the question on how your discipline can contribute to SD? It is an approach focused in qualitative, complex and interdisciplinary perspectives, and it is only successfully applied individually or in small groups and therefore very time-consuming. However, it is motivating and effective. 6 SD PEDAGOGY Education can be described as an institutionalized process aimed at realizing predefined learning objectives for predefined target groups. The learning objectives comprise disciplinary, social, cultural, and economic items. The target groups can be divided according to age and the level of prior education or development. The educational system tries to provide contexts that support the learning of individuals. (Van Dam- Mieras, 2005) 15

16 There is no direct relation between educated societies with highest rates of educated citizens and highest sustainability. On the contrary, some indicators of environmental Sustainability, like the Ecological footprint method, show a direct correlation between the level of development of countries and their ecological impact. Sustainability demands a specific kind of learning. Quoting E.F. Schumacher: The volume of education continues to increase, yet so do pollution, exhaustion of resources, and the dangers of ecological catastrophe. If still more education is to save us, it would have to be education of a different kind: an education that takes us into the depth of things. (Schumacher, 2003) In addition, some authors call for a deep change in society to achieve a more Sustainable Development. SD is not just a matter or acquiring some extra knowledge. Attitude is also important. Moreover, it is often necessary to change social structures. (Mulder, 2006) What is needed to achieve an effective education for SD in Higher Education and specifically in engineering education? Perdan et al. gave pedagogy a key role because: If engineers are to contribute truly to sustainable development, then sustainability must become part of their everyday thinking. This, on the other hand, can only be achieved if sustainable development becomes an integral part of engineering education programs, not a mere add-on to the core parts of the curriculum. (Fenner et al., 2004) What is needed, therefore, is an integrated approach to teaching sustainable development, which should provide students with an understanding of all the issues involved and their interrelation, as well as raise their awareness of how to work and act sustainable (Perdan et al., 2000). A reorientation on pedagogy and learning processes is necessary to achieve an effective education for sustainable development. In that sense, experts suggest different schemes and actions to facilitate and promote this needed pedagogy transformation in higher education institutes and in engineering education specifically. These can be summarized as: Educators should act as role models as well as learners: This approach places an emphasis on how the tutor can act as a role model to develop a deeper understanding of the sustainability agenda. Experiential Learning should be more applied: it is reconnecting to reality. The success of science is based on the laboratory as being a place where the messy character of reality can be successfully reduced. Experiential learning is based on the recognition that reality is messy, 16

17 with paradoxes, untidiness, and ever-changing patterns. Reality often refuses to conform to our expectations. Systemic learning: This approach emphasizes the need to move from a reductionist path towards making interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary connections. Critical thinking: This ability is crucial because students must have the ability and confidence to assess processes and solutions, which take their elements from many different disciplines. (Sterling, Canadell, Fenner et al, Fein, Kagawa, 2007, Lourdel et al., 2004, Martin et al., Wals et al., 2002 ) Sustainability needs systemic thinking; many pictures are still in a mechanistic mode, and understanding is divided in boxes, etc. We need to create a pedagogical approach that optimizes the understanding of flows and emphasizes the relationships between various concepts. Sustainability is a clear multidisciplinary potpourri (Environmental, social, organization, economy, values, law, future, culture, diversity, etc.). We need new ways to teach the interrelations between these factors. However, we should not forget that teaching must be active and cooperative. We need interdisciplinary learning processes, not forgetting that the process of teaching is as important as the contents to be taught. 7 FUTURE PROSPECTS Sustainable Development is the challenge for our global society. It should therefore be the key issue for the restructuring of engineering education. Sustainabilising engineering schools in Europe has been a painstaking effort. However, the record is not so bad compared to the more traditional universities. In general, traditional universities have created environmental institutes, and developed optional courses, but in general, the mainstream student is not confronted with SD in these universities. In several Engineering Schools, the students of today are confronted with SD, in different levels as shown in the EESD Observatory reports (2006). However, we are still far from where we want to be. Understanding the interrelation between environmental, resource, equity and development issues is very often still limited among lecturers. SD is about providing for all in a limited world, now and in the future. The only sensible way to deal with this challenge is to cooperate to become good at it. 17

18 8 SPECIALISED SD MSC PROGRAMS In the past decade, the Bologna process has reformed European academic education. Bologna implies that all academic programs are divided in a bachelor phase of 3 years, and a master phase of 1-2 years. The basic idea is that students might switch to another masters program after obtaining their bachelor degree. In general, the number of master programs has increased a lot as many universities compete for students in the master phase. Moreover, many universities have decided to offer their Msc programs in English as they can attract international students in this way. Several universities have created master programs on Industrial Ecology. Industrial ecology was popularized in 1989 in a Scientific American article by Robert Frosch and Nicholas E. Gallopoulos. Their vision was "why would not our industrial system behave like an ecosystem, where the wastes of a species may be resource to another species? Why would not the outputs of an industry be the inputs of another, thus reducing use of raw materials, pollution, and saving on waste treatment? (Frosch, 1989) Several European universities, mainly Engineering Schools, offer Masters programs in Industrial Ecology. Some Engineering Schools also offer SD masters programs under a different title that are inspired by Industrial Ecology. In the following overview, we spend somewhat more attention to SD in engineering universities. We cannot deny that this is partly due to the qualifications of the project participants (SD units in engineering universities). However, we also observed another phenomenon: In the 1970 s, many universities started separate departments, and educational programs for environmental science. These departments were coordinated by AUDES, the Association of University Departments for Environmental Studies. Engineering universities were generally only marginally affected by the environmental issues of the 1970s (at best: new small scale units for environmental technologies aiming at pollution prevention). In many general universities, Sustainable Development was considered as a small extension of its environmental studies program. However, in engineering universities, Sustainable Development implied a change from specific cleaning technologies to leaps in efficiency of all technologies, and from environment as a barrier for technology to SD as being a major challenge for technological innovation. Moreover, the interdisciplinary character of SD fitted well to the engineering traditions, as rather being focused on providing solutions for multifaceted problems, than being focused on scientific traditions. 18

19 9 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT MASTERS (MSC) PROGRAMS The aim of this report is to give an overview of SD academic education in Europe with a special focus on masters programs in engineering fields. Here we will present the main SD related masters programs that we have been able to retrieve. We took into account MSc programs focusing on: - sustainable development in general, - industrial ecology, - environmental management - environmental engineering or - engineering for development. - It has not been easy to define which masters program fits into what category. Programs are new and organized by very different departments in various universities. These institutions do not share a joint tradition in the field of SD. They often have completely different perspectives of the same topics. As this is a first overview of this specific kind of Master programs in Europe, we have taken into account a wide range of masters where the focus is Sustainability, and which had a (broadly defined) engineering perspective in. Basically, the implication is that we do not include traditional programs (that could claim to be SD related) like environmental studies, development studies, etc. We used two search methodologies to find the master programs. We send out a questionnaire by surface mail and a reminder by to all European universities that give engineering degrees. The addresses were obtained from FEANI, the Federation Europeenne de Association National de Ingeniere, in Brussels, whose cooperation is gratefully acknowledged. Additionally, we used the social network of the SDPROMO project partners to complete our list. From the 46 countries represented in the European Space for Higher Education, 20 have at least one master program that is analyzed in this report. We do not claim completeness, but the number of included programs, 75, signifies a considerable representativeness of this overview of masters on sustainability offered by the European higher education institutions. 19

20 Figure 1. SDpromo report masters by country. 10 WHAT SD ENGINEERING MASTER ARE AVAILABLE? Looking at the history, Environmental Engineering and later on Industrial Ecology have been the two first engineering masters programs focused on Sustainable Development. Now these programs, and especially environmental engineering, are present in a considerable number of universities. Sustainable Development has also been used as a main topic in several programs that have a management-, policy- or economic perspective. Several SD focused master programs are related to specific topics such as energy, water, agriculture, or transport. Very often the programs have a rather interdisciplinary character. Naturally, this is a good thing for an SD oriented program, but it makes categorization a doubtful activity. Nevertheless, we differentiate between programs that are more general and programs that are targeted at SD in a specific technological field or application. General - Environmental Engineering 20

21 - Industrial Ecology - Management and Policy Specific - Architecture and Urban Planning - Energy - Forestry and Agriculture - Transport - Water and waste Figure 2. SDpromo report masters by category. 11 TREND OF THE MARKET OF SPECIALISED SD MSC PROGRAMS 11.1 Structure The Bologna process is leading all European universities to structure their educational programs in three phases, bachelor (Bsc), master (Msc) and doctorate (PhD). This structure was entirely new to some countries, while it was more or less in line with the structure of academic education in other countries. The structure has been nearly fully accepted by all EU members. In several countries, the implementation process is still going on (Eurydice, 2007: 15). 21

22 The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is obligatory throughout Europe. It is a crucial system to make credits transferable throughout Europe. It enables students to change universities within Europe without losing study time. The system has been created for the Erasmus program and has been chosen by the Bologna process to be the single one used in all universities. It is fully implemented in all master programs in all countries with the exception of the United Kingdom and Azerbaijan (Eurydice, 2007: 26). According to the Bologna directives, the length of masters programs must be between 60 and 120 ECTS. (1 ECTS is the equivalent of 28.5 hours of student work). In the majority of countries, the master level allows students to achieve some professional attributions. This is why around 75% of the masters programs that are analyzed have a length of 120 ECTS. Two full academic years of study is the usual period that is needed to succeed in obtaining an Msc. However, there are exceptions. Especially people who obtained already a first degree and have professional experience might obtain an Msc: - part time (as example: Cranfield University) - by distance learning (as example: London University or UPC) - by shorter programs. - Especially in the United Kingdom, there are special post-graduate masters. Distance learning is an option to obtain an Msc for international students. This might reduce their expenses. What really differs in the structure of the analyzed masters is the percentage of hours on site. This mainly depends on the teaching methods and traditions of universities Internationalization One of the principal aims of the Bologna process is to stimulate the mobility of students, teachers and researchers (Bologna declaration, 1999). The framework to allow this mobility has already been put in place. At the master level, and especially in specific master programs as the ones we analyze in this report, the competition to attract students is at the European level. The students involved in this challenge are not only the ones coming from European countries. Also international students could easily spend part of their masters program at a second European university. The first adaptation that universities made was changing their teaching language. In recent years, northern European universities massively turned to English as teaching language. Nowadays, the southern European universities also start to offer masters programs in English. The percentage of English language masters is even higher for specialized master. In this report, we found that 52% of 22

23 masters programs of our sample are taught in English. Moreover, in some Northern European countries also bachelor programs have turned to English as a teaching language. Another stimulus for the change of teaching language is the creation of several joint Masters Programs between universities from different countries. Some of these joint masters consider the multilingual character of their program as a cultural richness (for example: Etudes Urbaines en Régions Méditerranéennes), but most of them chose the practical way to teach only in English. To motivate students to do part of their study in other European countries, several exchange programs have been created. The most successful of these programs is the well-known Erasmus program. By this program, 1.5 millions Europeans students have had the opportunity to study in another country for a maximum period of one year, during the last 20 years (Erasmus program, 2008). It was an important factor in forcing universities to turn to the ECTS system. The European master programs offer a good opportunity for students to have an international experience. Two years abroad to improve the knowledge of a foreign language, obtain a better curriculum and experience different cultures. The fact that the master is the second step in higher education allows the universities to select the candidates. It gives the process more flexibility. For SD oriented master programs, this implies that the participating students have various disciplinary backgrounds, which reinforces the interdisciplinarity of the program. In bachelor level education in most European countries student selection is a more strict process (Eurydice, 2007:24). At the European level, one interesting program that has been operational since 2004 is the Erasmus Mundus program (2008), which promotes Master courses jointly organized by universities from different European countries and offers opportunities for scholarships to European and non-european students. Nowadays 104 Masters are offered in the program, 7 of which are included in this overview. For universities, joint masters programs between universities, international or national, is a way to increase their offer without additional staff. 20% of masters analyzed in this report are joint programs. Moreover, specific partnerships between universities, often with non-european universities are a usual practice. We can see a special interest in collaboration with China (as example: Stuttgart University). In these joint masters, students usually study at least in two of the organizing universities during his study period. This usually means living in two different countries for one year, with cultural and financial consequences. The mobility of teachers is a harder issue to be achieved. The joint masters offer a partial solution to this problem. Teaching students that have studied in different institutions allow teachers to learn about 23

24 other ways to work. Good partnerships between universities make it easier to collaborate also in research projects Specialization Due to the competition to attract students from all over the world, universities must offer original programs to be attractive. For sure, universities will continue offering as their principal product the traditional degrees. With these degrees they will usually only compete on the national level. Nevertheless, they are starting to offer more specific masters, by which they can really offer something unique. Sustainable development as a main topic of study is not a common degree. This also becomes clear from the large differences between the programs that are offered. As we have seen in chapter 10, environmental engineering and industrial ecology are the most common masters. We can foresee that these degrees could perhaps become traditional degrees in future. The future of the other degrees might be more insecure. They can be considered as bets of the universities to attract students. However, within a competitive market, products that do not sell well, will disappear. The official recognition of SD masters programs might sometimes be a problem. Usually it is a long process before a diploma is accepted as an official degree Costs All changes in the higher education system have financial consequences. Universities become suppliers in an education market, and (forced to) charge higher prices for their programs. Enlargement of the offer of master programs and improvement to be more competitive have a price. This has caused rising tuitions in most European countries. Moreover, costs of living will be higher too, given the demand for travel. If we look at the tuitions at university level for bachelor programs, we can see that on average the highest tuition for one year study is 1600 (Eurydice, 2007: 89). Now looking at the master programs analyzed in this overview, we found on average cost of 3320 for EU students, 4960 for non-eu students per year iii. However, these costs vary considerable by country. The extra cost of study in another country (travel, residence, administrative costs) can easily be underestimated. iii Average cost of analyzed masters at exemption of the no cost ones (Sweden, Norway and Finland) 24

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