Neo-colonial adventurism and the NUS

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

A UK team of two (from EAUC and NUS), is heading off to Uzbekistan to sell them the delights of ESD.  You'd have thought that the Uzbeks had problems enough, but apparently not.  This is a British Council funded jaunt and you have to wonder whether there's a Brexit angle to it.  Did Dr Fox tip the B Council the wink that a trip to Central Asia in the snow was just what future UK trade needed right now?  Probably not; we may be short of trade deals, but one in ESD seems fanciful.

This is what EAUC has to say about it:

Next week sees EAUC delivering an important milestone in the development of sustainability across all universities in Uzbekistan in a partnership between EAUC, British Council, NUS and University College London.  Representing EAUC, Professor Steve Martin and Quinn Runkle for NUS, with support from Iain Patton and Jamie Agombar, designed the week-long workshop in Tashkent for Rectors, Deans, Support staff and students from all Uzbek universities.  The programme aims to draw out from participants what their institutions’ opportunities and challenges are, alongside articulating where they want to go in the future.  EAUC members are global leaders in sustainability and we recognise the benefits of sharing our collective experience and understanding.  We hope that our partnership with Uzbek colleagues will grow to give new opportunities and benefit UK and Irish members.

Here's the detail:

The first day of the workshop will be focused on systems thinking approaches to enhance the group’s understanding of sustainability and ESD.  The team will use diagram, drawing and mapping techniques to help participants to articulate their own understanding and broaden it to include all components of sustainability.  The second day will then go on to use case studies to demonstrate good practice, alongside asking participants to share their own institutions’ experiences.  The final day will use back-casting techniques and existing ESD frameworks to help participants to articulate their own next steps.  The output on day three will be a fairly detailed action plan which each person can take back to their institution for implementation.  Other meetings are planned with Government, British Council and Education representatives alongside national media outlets.

As I said: neo-colonial adventurism.  I thought that the more progressive, right-on sections of NUS were against this sort of thing.  Do they know about it, I wonder.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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