Sustainable education

Sustainable Education aims to strengthen and enlarge the sustainable development education at UM, and it wants to provide an overview for everyone who is interested in topics of sustainability. The project team is positioned at the heart of the academic community, and acts as a facilitator within the UM’s sustainability initiative.

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The topic sustainable development in courses and programmes at UM 

UM's aim is to integrate sustainable development in all programmes. Each educational program incorporates sustainable development (competencies) into the core curricula in a way that is appropriate and relevant to the programme. This is done by finding faculties' unique perspectives and ways to add value to contribute to a sustainable world.

Since the project team has started taking count of courses which integrate the topic of sustainability, sustainable development, and/or the Sustainable Development Goals into their course descriptions in 2018-2019, the number of courses has increased substantially. Since then, the count has gone up from 9 to more than 57 Bachelor level courses, and from 17 to more than 33 Master level courses for the academic year 2022-2023. For an overview of the courses and programmes on various levels, please see here.

sustainable education

Climate Fresk

climate fresk

Are you a student or staff at UM and would you want to know more about the science behind climate change? Do you want to become empowered to take action on climate change? Or would you be interested in determining whether this workshop would be a valuable training for students in your own programme or faculty? Read more about the Climate Fresk workshops at UM.

Are you interested in becoming a facilitator after the workshop or do you have any inquiries? Contact Clarence Bluntz.

Sustainability Grant for Education


The sustainability grant for education aims to integrate sustainability further into the various core course curricula at UM by providing teachers with the time to (re)develop educational modules to integrate the topic of sustainability and/or sustainable development competencies into the course. Three educational projects have been awarded with this grant in the academic year 2021-2022. There has been a second round in the academic year 2022-2023. 

 We have opened a new round for a Sustainability Grant for Education! You can apply now by downloading this document. Deadline to apply is 3rd of May, 2024.

SDG Seminar series on professionals in sustainable development

Together with UM Green Office we organise regular seminars in which professionals in the sustainability field share their successes and struggles. This is your chance to learn from their experience and to ask your questions! These SDG seminars are intended to approach sustainability issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. 

Click here to rewatch a former recorded seminar on Transformative Change online.



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Student projects

Beyond the courses specifically incorporating sustainability in the course content, the topic of sustainable development can also be integrated in student projects within a course. For example, UM offers several honours programmes in which you can work on a sustainability project for a real client such as PREMIUM and MaRBLe. Or you can write your thesis on a subject related to sustainaibility. If you need help or would like to brainstorm together with the team of Sustainable UM2030 on further integrating sustainability into educational projects you may contact us.

Education Liaisons SUM2030

In November 2021, the Sustainable Education project team kicked-off its first Education Liaisons meeting. This collaboration with liaisons from the various faculties has been initiated to:

  • deepen the embedding of sustainability in education across faculty programmes;
  • share information and news concerning sustainable education with the project team and the faculties;
  • identify and stimulate relevant faculty projects;
  • seek intra-faculty collaboration where possible;
  • share best practices but also challenges;
  • involve UM faculties and centers in the UM-wide SUM2030 educational projects.

Trainings and workshops for staff

Online trainings on sustainability

UM offers online trainings via GoodHabitz for its staff members. UM employees can make use of the entire selection of online training courses offered, and they can be taken at your own pace, at any time. Via this link, employees can create an account or log into their account (use your UM credentials).

There are currently two online courses on sustainable development:
Sustainability (or in Dutch ‘Natuurlijk Duurzaam’). Among other topics, this course delves into the concept of sustainable development, how to reduce your carbon footprint, sustainable eating habits, and recycling and reusing.
Sustainability Entrepreneurship. This course clarifies what sustainable business means and how companies can come up with solutions in face of the climate crisis. The concepts of ecological, economic, and social entrepreneurship are explained.

Citizenship for Sustainability

Sustainability has become an important lens through which teachers are looking at their curriculum. Interestingly, competences for education for sustainable development (ESD) largely overlap with competences for global citizenship education (GCEd), including perspective taking, systems thinking, complex problem solving, normative competence and change agency, to name but a few. In this module participants will explore how sustainable development is impacting their field of study, and look at examples of how sustainability has begun to impact faculty programs. This module has been offered during April and May. More information can be found through this link.

Sustainable Education Initiatives at UM

Workshops and extracurricular courses

At Maastricht University there are workshops and extracurricular courses organised on the topic of sustainable development. Would you like to ask input from the sustainable education coordinator on the content, promotion, or co-development options? Do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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Environmental Law Lecture Series

Since March 2023, the free and hybrid lecture series Strengthening EU environmental law: legal perspectives on Greening Europe are available. The lectures provide students and scholars with core insights in the state of affairs and further improvement of EU environmental law. Maastricht University students who attend all lectures on-site are eligible for a certificate of attendance.

Click here for more information about the complete lecture series and how to register. 

Nora Wilhelm - Strategies for Change

On 6th and 7th of November, 2023, Nora Wilhelm, social innovator and systems entrepeneur, held a lecture and workshop at UM called 'Stategies for Change - New pathways from knowing to doing'. The lecture discussed how values, belief systems and paradigms influence our behaviour; and how we, as European citizens, can have an impact and implement systems change in practice. On the second day, she held a more intimate workshop where she delved deeper into the personal aspect of systems change. Where do you start change? And how do I need to develop myself in order to get there? Because according to Nora "systems change begins with yourself." Read the recap article of Studio Europa here

 You can watch the recording of the complete lecture here. Furthermore you can download the lecture slides as well. You can find the slides of the workshop here and download the worksheet that she used in the workshop from her website

This has been a joint event by Sustainable UM 2030, Studium Generale, Studio Europa and The InnBetween.

Nora Wilhelm
sustainable education

Another Sustainability: Approaches Beyond the Mainstream

From 15th of March until 17th of May 2022, UM hosted the extracurricular course ‘Another Sustainability: Approaches Beyond the Mainstream’. The course was organised in the framework of the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Politics in a Changing Global Context (CHANCE), held by Dr. Giselle Bosse.

The course aimed to stimulate the development of the student’s perspectives on the different topics presented during the course. This was done through presentations held by the students, guest lecturers (about Capitalocene, Offset Schemes, Degrowth, Ecosocialism and Sufficiency) and documentary movies about Syntropic Farming and Planned Obsolescence. The last movie, The Ants & the Grasshopper, was screened at Lumière Cinema and wrapped up the course. 

The course was created and coordinated by Tiago Pestilla Fabbri, former Education/Research Officer at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. 

 Read the article about the development of the sustainability minor' - spring 2020

Download here a recap of the Kick-Off session of Sustainable Research and Education - December 2018

Download here the report of the Kick-Off session Sustainable Research and Education - December 2018

Download here the results of the survey UM Minor Sustainability among bachelor students - mid 2019