Engineering Education in Sustainable Development 2008 Conference edition:4 location:Graz, Austria date:22-24 September 2008
This paper presents some of the efforts that have been made regarding the integration of SD in curricula at the Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel. The project took place between July 2006 and December 2007 with funding from the European Social Fund. Based on the experiences of the institution with the integration of SD, and the work of a project team, a teacher’s manual was created for the integration of SD in curricula. In 2005, SD became one of the strategic options of the Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel. The translation of this vision into practice challenged the entire staff of the institution. SD integration in universities typically encompasses changes on different levels, namely campus operations, curriculum, research and outreach. The integration of SD in curricula was on of the most difficult barriers to overcome. In order to tackle this problem, a project team with members of the academic world, an employers organisation and an adult training centre was set up, following Lozano’s recommendations. The manual focuses on SD integration in bachelor’s and master’s programs of commercial engineering. The premise was that future managers who are educated in the institution, will be able to make a difference by integrating sustainable business methods into their company’s activities. The teacher’s manual consists of different chapters, among which a compilation of teacher’s materials in reference to corporate social responsibility (CSR), as a translation of SD for future managers. Specific routines, methods and exercises were created in order for them to gain inspiration on the practical integration of CSR in curricula. Besides the actual integration of CSR in curricula, the process of integration itself turned out to be very useful. It helps to eradicate bottlenecks and creates some dynamism into the difficult process of education for sustainable development (ESD). The objective of the project was to create a long-term multiplier effect throughout the organisation, e.g. by extending the project to other program’s curricula. The project’s outcome can feed the discussion on a general method to integrate SD into different institutions of higher education.