UM is taking steps to integrate sustainability into core course curricula

Sustainable UM 2030 is pleased to announce that three projects have been awarded with a sustainability grant for education to further integrate sustainable development into the various core course curricula at UM. This grant provides teachers with the time needed to (re)develop educational modules in order to integrate the topic of sustainability and/or sustainable development competencies into the course.

After the initial call, different teachers at UM stepped forward and recognized the need to adapt course modules to sustainability. In the end, three proposals were awarded with the grant. Matthias Wibral, Associate Professor at the faculty of SBE, has received a grant to amend the course Economics and Business (EBC1009). His motivation is that “If our goal is to integrate sustainability in the DNA of the entire organization by 2030, it is important to introduce the idea already in the big compulsory courses at the beginning of the curriculum. My motivation for this project is to make students aware that sustainability is a choice, right from the start of their studies.”

At the faculty of FHML they took the first step to integrate Planetary Health into the Master’s programme in Medicine. The goal herein is to support the implementation of sustainability-related content into the existing (and new) programme. In this case it deserves specific mention that the integration of education material regarding the ‘societal issues’ of environmental change and the attainment of sustainable development are directly in line with the recently revised Raamplan Artsopleiding2 , the blueprint of medical curricula in the Netherlands. Especially the competency “Maatschappelijk handelen” lists ample possibilities to make connections with Planetary Health related competencies. The project team working on this integration are Myrthe Eussen, Egid van Bree, Ben Janssen and Maud Huynen.

The third awarded grant went to the faculty of FSE. Raimond Ravelli is planning to redesign course NanoBiology (PRA2017) of the Maastricht Science Programme. In the coming academic year the course will focus on the Sustainable Development Goal about green energy. Guest lectures on green energy will be held and project teams will work on an animation about a Sustainable Development Goal theme. Students will be able to apply the course content to real-world science and engineering examples (e.g. how to produce Green Energy with cells and proteins?).

In the forthcoming time, the members of these projects will work very hard to integrate topics on sustainable development in education and enable students to develop competencies explicitly linked to sustainability. Ceren Pekdemir, coordinator Sustainable Education: “This grant is an effective way to stimulate teachers who already have the relevant insights and commitments. By freeing up some time they can make their ideas come to fruition and reach large numbers of students.” Sustainable UM 2030 warmly encourages colleagues to look for ways to integrate sustainability into the curricula, as there will be a new round in the next academic year.

Visit the web page Sustainable Education for an overview of courses and programmes that already offer sustainable development.