Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education

The aim of the BUP Teachers’ Course is to better integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals into the teaching, courses and study programmes. The emphasis is on teaching methodology by e-learning and two workshops. The course also includes a project part and a possibility to publish the result of the project in a peer review journal.

Aims and Target group

The course focuses on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the learning methods in Higher Education. The participants will better integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals into their own practical teaching, courses and study programmes.

The emphasis is especially to strengthen the goals #4 “Quality education”, #12 “Responsible consumption and production”, and #13 “Climate action”. The course includes facts in sustainability issues, with an emphasis on teaching methodology, including e-learning, peer learning and work with an individual project.

The target group is educators, teachers, and researchers in Higher Education within the Baltic University Programme. Applicants from universities and polytechnics outside the BUP are also welcome. Persons from the BUP member universities will have priority.

Dates and Content

  • Course duration in total: September–March.
  • The course includes:
    • Two workshops
    • Online material, exercises and discussions in groups​.
    • Preparation and presentation of an individual project.

The course consists of five cycles. The participants will get an introduction to and use different methods and processes applied in the course cycles.

Each participant will develop a so-called Change project during the course. The Change project is based on an already existing course, study programme or a future teaching experience. The idea is to change the content to better integrate the ESD. The planning and implementation of the Change project will be the main outcome of the course. All the participants will have support of a critical friend and peer reviews via the e-platform Moodle and during the workshops.

Cycle 1. E-learning on Moodle. Introduction to sustainability and ESD. Preliminary planning of the Change project (1 month).

Cycle 2. Workshop I with focus on SDG, ESD methodology and Design Thinking. Presentation of the plans and further development of the Change project.

Cycle 3. Development of the Change project at the home university. Preparation for presentation of the project (including implementation plan, teaching and learning methods). (Oct–Feb).

Cycle 4. Workshop II with focus on critical reflection. Presentation, reporting and peer learning together with the course. Discussion how to take the Change project forward. (3 days in February/March).

Cycle 5. Post course work in implementation of the Change project at the home university. Possibility to publish the project reports on the BUP website and/or  in a scientific journal.

Watch the first introduction to the course by Dr Shepard Urenje (Youtube)


A complete fulfillment of the course will generate a diploma/certificate corresponding to 5 ECTS by the Centre for Lifelong Learning at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. The international board of the BUP also approves the course.

Application and Criteria

The course is free of charge (incl. accommodation and meals) for teachers from the BUP Participating universities (formerly called Member Universities). A course fee of 800 euro per person (incl. accommodation and meals) applies for other participants. Please see the list of BUP Participating universities. However, all the participants cover their own travel costs.

For the selection of participants, a short motivation text (approx. 3,000-4,000 characters) and a preliminary description of the Change project (approx. 1,000-2,000 characters) is required (included in the application form).

We are aiming for a broad international diversity with as many countries and universities represented as possible. However, we encourage 2-3 persons from the same university/institution to apply. The total number of participants is limited to 30.


The course organiser is the Baltic University Programme‘s Associate Secretariat at Åbo Akademi University, Finland. If you have questions about the course, do not hesitate to contact [email protected].