Sustainable education

The project Sustainable Education aims to involve the entire academic community in the process of becoming a truly sustainable university by 2030.

UM offers:

  • Courses and full-time programmes on sustainable development (see below)
  • Various project activities to further raise the profile of sustainability in education
  • Minor Sustainability - starting in September 2021. 

    Click here to read more.

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 a complex and very multifaceted theme. If we want to know more about it and come up with good solutions to environmental, social and economic problems, we can draw on numerous disciplines. For bachelor students who are about to enter the labour market and want to contribute to a sustainable world, an interdisciplinary minor is an excellent opportunity to gain more insight into what sustainability means for different disciplines, regardless of their own background.

The UM-wide minor on Sustainability (25-30 ECTS) will start in September 2021. This minor has been built by teaching and research staff of all faculties at Maastricht University with various academic backgrounds. The minor is composed of a unique collection of courses, including skills modules in which students develop their competencies for sustainable development. The minor also provides an optional research project on sustainability.

At the start of March 2021, the various course teams presented and discussed the most recent course designs. In these working group sessions, there were also students present from various study backgrounds and sustainability affiliations (including student representatives of the Klimaat Actie Netwerk of the University Council). Overall, the feedback has been very positive and both teachers and students are excited that the minor will be offered as of September 2021.

On the minors website you can find more information about the various courses which are offered in the minor, as well as relevant information concerning the application process.

Strengthening competencies for sustainable development

Within the international discourse on education for sustainable development, there is large agreement on key competencies. Thanks to UM's problem-based teaching method, a number of these skills are already amply covered, such as (integrated) problem solving, cooperation and critical thinking. It encourages students to work together in a critical and interdisciplinary way to solve problems. These competences are also recognised in UNESCO's skills in education for sustainability (see for example chapter 2 of Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development).

Some competencies can be complemented or strengthened to enable students to think and act in a sustainable way. During this project we investigate how students can strengthen their competences in the field of sustainable development. For example, we are working with the Global Citizenship project to incorporate global citizenship skills into education. As of spring of 2020, we are working with staff and students within Green Impact to jointly draw up a plan for training on sustainability competences for UM employees as well. Currently we are researching by means of focus groups what the wishes of UM employees are regardig trainings and tools for sustainability.

Seminar series on professionals in sustainable development

Together with Green Office we organise monthly seminars in which professionals in the sustainability field share their successes and struggles.


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.