QAA ignores students

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

Steve Martin, who writes the Transformative Future Learning blog has written about the new guidance on ESD from QAA and its friends.  It's fair to say that he's underwhelmed.  This is how the post ends:

" ... in 2014, the HEA and QAA launched a pioneering report on the teaching of sustainable development in our universities. Its purpose was:

“to serve as a reference point for use in curriculum design, delivery, and review. Educators are encouraged to use it as a framework, within their own disciplinary context, rather than as a prescription of a curriculum or pedagogic approach.”

As far as I am aware, this pioneering document which was was launched in June 2014 (and given its status as ”guidance“)  received little or no further evaluation of its impact, from the QAA nor the Higher Education Academy or from the Higher Education Funding Council nor any of its successor bodies, especially the higher education regulatory authority - the Office for Students.

Last week, we heard that an updated and enhanced QAA document was ready for consultation from the sector and presumably far beyond?

So, for the past six years the guidance document was out there, and no one considered asking the question - What impact if any has it made?  This was despite the growing evidence from university students from across the UK about the importance they placed on learning about sustainability and the necessity for its inclusion across the university curriculum.  And this coupled with massive student climate strikes across the globe involving in one week alone in March 2019 - 1.6 million strikers across 125 countries.  All of which makes it seem incredible that this document lacks any sense of the urgent need for deeper and scalable action on sustainability in our universities and moreover under represents the student voice in these matters."

You can read the whole post here.

It made no impact of course, just as the latest guidance won't either.  All that wasted effort over so many years.  The reason why is because it was just activists talking to themselves in a locked room.  There's a lesson there ...

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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  • Mm! Sadly too true.