I understand that QAAHEA’s guidance to universities on ESD is nearly complete, and that it will soon shift into the QAA & HEA bureaucracies for approval and eventual publication. It seems that there is also talk of a launch, although no one is quite sure where the cash is to come from for this – Hefce’s deep pockets, perhaps?
Given the considerable hopes that are pinned on this guidance, a launch seems desirable. Much more effective, however, would be a proper dissemination strategy to ensure that the guidance is discussed in every university in the country, in the hope that something will come of it where it matters most. This seems essential if the guidance is to reach those for whom it is meant – that is, those who don’t know much about ESD, and those others who don’t even know that much.
A pity, then, that no dissemination is planned, unless QAA’s emailing the guidance to all VCs counts. Well, no, of course, it doesn’t.
So it looks as if it is going to be left to ESD enthusiasts in universities to organise their own dissemination. Clearly, there are benefits in this in that they are the people who know the institution, work with its key players, and have insights into how things get done “on the ground”. In fact, as a dissemination strategy, this sounds pretty good, and I hope that QAAHEA will at least encourage it. Certainly, if most of the huge numbers of people who commented on the draft materials got involved within institutions, there would be a lot of activity.
A further advantage of this approach is that it doesn’t rely on QAAHEA's doing (or spending) very much, as the ESD institutional enthusiasts know who they are, and can just get on with it. I expect that many will, and I hope SHED-SHARE can be used to share experiences and track developments.