Sustainable education

Maastricht University (UM) wants to be a sustainable university by 2030. Project Sustainable Education is there to engage the entire academic community in this sustainability endeavour and help the UM become sustainable by 2030.

Sustainable Education seeks to ensure that students are provided with opportunities to learn about sustainable development and that they can acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to become better equipped to contribute to sustainable development during their study, work and private life.

UM offers:

- More information below the picture - 

sustainable education

Programmes on sustainable development

At Maastricht University (UM), there are numerous courses taught on the topic of sustainable development. Next to separate courses, there are complete programmes dedicated to the topic of sustainability on Master and PhD level.

MSc Sustainability Science and Policy
Sustainable development deals with one of the world's most relevant and complex questions: how can we balance ecological, economic and social developments for our present and future well-being? In the programme students learn to deal with sustainable development issues from an integrated perspective. The centre of attention is a systematic integration of knowledge and methods combining insights from different disciplines, providing a sound basis for identifying, analysing and contributing to problem solving for sustainability.

The Sustainability Science and Policy programme has a focus on sustainability assessment in the context of innovation and governance for sustainable development. The programme delivers graduates who are able to fulfil a coordinating and integrating role as sustainability professionals. In other words, they are able to cross boundaries and build bridges between different disciplines, domains, sectors and actors in the societal challenge towards sustainability.
Students with various backgrounds are admitted to this programme.

  Read here more information about the programme and admissions requirements.

MSc International Business: Sustainable Finance
Following the 2008 financial crisis and on-going criticism of banks and corporations, there is great demand for finance professionals who can implement sustainability principles in a company while maintaining profitability. Bridging the gap between traditional capitalism and a new context of shared economic and social value, sustainable finance is quickly becoming a core part of the mission of financial institutions and companies.

Often for corporations and financial institutions, ‘duty’ is less important than ‘profit’. The Sustainable Finance programme reverses this dynamic, focusing instead on the application of sustainability principles to management, corporate strategy, accounting, reporting and marketing. Included in this are issues such as sustainable banking, investing, real estate and micro-credit. Sustainable Finance equips students to pair sustainability with profitability now and into the future.
Students with various backgrounds are admitted to this programme.

 Read here more information about the programme and admissions requirements.

PhD within the Maastricht University Graduate School of Sustainability Science & Policy (MUST)
The interdisciplinary Ph.D. programme in Sustainability Science and Policy (SSP) at the International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development (ICIS) strives to find innovative ways of integrating knowledge across academic divides, between social and natural sciences and between critical and problem-solving research. This is done within the context of major sustainability challenges such as climate change, energy, mobility, urbanisation, health and ecosystem services, governance of global value chains, processes of societal change, and sustainable business models.

Research on complex issues is best conducted with experts tackling different aspects of a given problem from their own expertise and perspectives. MUST offers a perfect environment for this kind of collaboration, with scientific training and a dynamic learning environment where the exchange of knowledge between younger and more experienced researchers is emphasised. PhD candidates from different disciplinary backgrounds and post-docs work closely together with professional scientific leadership to find solutions to sustainability issues affecting our society.

A PhD in sustainability can be pursued in several ways.

  Read here more information on MUST

Courses on sustainable development

An overview of all courses related to sustainable development you may find here.

Project activities

In the ambition to be a sustainable university by 2030, UM wants to involve the entire academic community. Therefore there are ongoing activities to explore and realise this goal. Next to existing sustainable educational bachelor's and master's programmes and PhD level, a selection of strengthening education for sustainable development are the following:

UM wide minor on sustainable development
Sustainable development is complex and highly multi-faceted in nature. In order to understand and come up with solutions addressing environmental, social, and economic needs, a range of different disciplines can be drawn upon. For students to become practitioners who contribute and realise a sustainable world, an interdisciplinary minor can provide the opportunity to Bachelor students from all fields to comprehend fundamental components of sustainability across various disciplines.

While there are several programmes within UM providing interdisciplinary and integrative courses on sustainable development, this is not available to all students. A UM wide minor can expand the availability of sustainability courses and provide accessibility to all students. In this project, the possibilities for a UM wide minor programme on sustainable development is explored.

Strengthening competencies for sustainable development
Within the international discourse on education for sustainable development, there is large agreement on key competencies. The problem-based educational method of UM fosters some of these key competencies, such as the competencies of (integrated) problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking. To empower students for thinking and acting in support of sustainable development, certain competencies can be added or strengthened. In this project, the possibilities to strengthen sustainable development competencies are explored.

Team and contact

Project owner
Ron Cörvers
Scientific director of ICIS, Maastricht University
+31(0)43 3882690 

Project coordinator
Ceren Pekdemir
PhD researcher at ICIS, Maastricht University
+31(0)43 3882660 

Green office student support
Arienne Schulz
Education coordinator at Maastricht University Green Office