Sustainable Development Goals Teach In 1st-31st March 2023

The Sustainable Development Goals Teach In - or ‘SDG Teach In’ - is a national campaign with an aim to put the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of education. The campaign calls upon educators to pledge to include the SDGs within their teaching across these weeks. 2022 was their most successful year yet! it is a great opportunity to get involved so please see below for how to go about it. 

In 2023, the SDG Teach In will take place from 1st - 31st March, overlapping with our 'Sustainability Week' - a campaign week we are co-delivering with colleagues from across the Exeter and Cornwall campuses and FX Plus.

We invite and encourage educators from across the University to pledge to get involved in creating a more conscious curriculum! Check out the resources below for some resources to help make the most of this campaign, as well as SOS-Uk's own resource page including the FAQ for educators.

Resources

We highly recommend watching our Vodcasts - one for each SDG - to highlight how we are approaching and contributing to delivery of each.

You can check on the current reach and impact of the 2022 campaign here.

The 2021 SOS Students, sustainability and education survey indicated that 92% of Higher Education students agree that sustainable development is something which all courses should actively incorporate and promote. A number of Exeter academics are already offering some great SDG-related courses through Future Learn here.

More about the campaign and cause 

The SDG Teach In national campaign aims to put the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of education. It calls upon educators to pledge to include the SDGs within their teaching across one week.​​​​​​​ The campaign is coordinated by Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK), which grew out of the sustainability work of the National Union of Students (NUS). The campaign was first run in 2018, with the aim of encouraging the use of the SDGs in exploring how different disciplines and subject areas relate to sustainability and social justice.

As for the SDGs themselves, these are a set of 17 goals which provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. They are at the heart of 'The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', which was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015.

In short, the SDGs provide a blueprint for sustainable development and a sustainable future, which set out targets to end poverty, protect the planet, and achieve prosperity for all by 2030.

With the backdrop of the climate and ecological crisis, inequality, and poverty, the transition to a more sustainable way of life is more important than ever, and education is key to catalysing shifts towards more sustainable behaviours and lifestyles.

  

The Career Zone is here to help you with your career planning, whatever stage you are at. There are a range of opportunities available that you can get involved with to gain experience and explore the sustainability sector further, including:

  • Listening to the Career Zone Podcast, with special episodes on Jobs in the Green Sector. You can listen on Spotify or iTunes.
  • Completing the Green Consultants training, open to all students. A chance to explore whether working in the sustainability sector is for you.
  • The Exeter Award is an employability Award designed to help you make the most of your professional experience. The Sustainability Theme highlights the type of sessions you can get involved with if you want to explore the sustainability sector.
  • Career Development for Sustainability page with information on how you can develop your skills and gain experiences in the sustainability sector.
  • Sign up to Grand Challenges: a project week, during which students will work with other like-minded students in interdisciplinary groups to design innovative solutions to real-world challenges, tackling issues raised by the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Attend a range of skill sessions; such as Understanding Social Enterprise and Ways of Working – book your place on Handshake

The University of Exeter had amazing success participating in the ‘NUS Sustainable Development Goals Teach In’ 2021 - finishing top in both the 'number of teaching staff pledged' and 'students reached' leaderboards.

The campaign successfully raised awareness of why the Sustainable Development Goals should be at the centre of education. Across the institution, 96 educators pledged to include the Sustainable Development Goals within their teaching, learning and assessments during the week. The week ran 21 February - 5 March 2021 and resulted in over 9,000 Exeter students having the SDGs integrated in to their learning experience that week. 

Below are the final leaderboards. Thank you to all those involved and the educators for making it such a huge success.

Leaderboard (% of students reached)   Leaderboard (teaching staff pledged
1st Place University of Exeter   1st Place University of Exeter
2nd Place Glasgow Caledonian University   2nd Place Ulster University
3rd Place Oxford Brookes   3rd Place Glasgow Caledonian University
  
 

Geography - Dr Damien Mansell

GIS for Professionals students applied their skills to embrace the Sustainable Development Goals ‘Teach-in’ by developing sustainable Operations Dashboards for Exeter Streatham Campus. This new module led by Dr Damien Mansell focuses on students applying spatial analysis and mapping skills to the work place, including work-relevant assessment . The University Sustainability Officer Joel Smith came to a lecture pitching for an updated and interactive sustainable map. Students worked in groups to meet the client’s needs, producing an Operations Dashboard and a sales pitch video. Example outputs can be seen here: Operations Dashboard https://uoe.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=87adef82972a40a98cb1f14810798640

Sales Pitch for Sustainable Development map and app https://youtu.be/pLk_gIwwEgw

Sales Pitch for Sustainable Development map and app https://vimeo.com/315458507

The work was weeks long but as part of the NUS Sustainable Development Goals ‘Teach in’, Damien re-purposed the content of the students maps and set them to produce a 3D version in a computer practical session.  The sustainable development goals which were specifically being addressed included sustainable  cities and communities (i.e. Streatham Campus) but students extended this out to include affordable and clean energy by looking at energy consumption and use of solar panels of campus buildings, and some groups looked at the life on land goal by looking at biodiversity of green spaces on campus.