IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Higher education and sustainability

03 September 2020, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Wind turbines. Image: Narcisa Aciko via Pexels

This webinar brings together a panel to debate the current and potential roles of higher education in relation to sustainability.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Centre for Global Higher Education

Universities are heavily implicated in the current global crisis of climate and environment. They are the locus of most environmental science, and are spearheading the development of innovative technologies that may enable more sustainable futures. 

With increasing proportions of the population progressing to higher education, they also have a fundamental role in educating young people about sustainable development. 

At the same time, they are also contributors to climate change and environmental destruction, through their own emissions, their international students and academic travel, their investments, and their complicity with an economic and cultural model of wasteful consumption that creates problems in the first place. 

This webinar will assess the impact that higher education systems have on graduate perceptions, attitudes and actions relating to the environment, the impact of their research and community engagement, their own campus operations, and the ways in which these might be transformed. 

It also engages with the complex ideological and epistemic questions surrounding sustainable development, distrust of experts and climate denial, and the role of student and staff activism and mobilisation.


  • Tristan McCowan, Co-Investigator on the Centre for Global Higher Education's (CGHE) global higher education engagement research programme
  • Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General at the International Association of Universities (IAU)
  • Dr Jackline Nyerere, Co-Chair at the Education for Sustainable Development in Africa – Next Generation researchers (ESDA-NGR) network
  • Robin Shields, Professor of Education at the University of Bristol


Image: Narcisa Aciko via Pexels