Every student that attends the University of Sheffield will be forced to attend classes on climate change and “sustainable development.”
At a rally last month to mark the “global climate strike,” Koen Lamberts, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield announced the radical plans.
Lamberts told cheering crowds that the University must act to “educate the next generation,” as it is “the young people who will be most affected by the impact of climate change in the years to come”:
We will be embedding Education for Sustainable Development into the curriculum of every course we offer at our University. Whether our students go on to become doctors, engineers, scientists, economists or historians, we want them to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, values and attributes they need to work and live in a sustainable way. We want them to make an impact and find solutions to the environmental, economic and social challenges that we face. Sheffield students can be the change makers for a sustainable future and we are committed to providing them with the education they need to make the world a better place.
Lamberts further committed the University of Sheffield to becoming carbon neutral:
Our aim is to become one of the most sustainable research intensive universities in the country. We know there is still a lot of work to do, particularly on emissions, but we are committed to taking a science-led approach in developing an action plan for becoming carbon neutral. We will be setting this out in our new five-year Sustainability Strategy, which we look forward to sharing with you later this year.
The Education for Sustainable Development program was originally created by the UN, in an effort to apparently foster “a holistic approach to sustainability knowledge that goes beyond ‘being green’.”
It has not been revealed how often the classes will be, or how they will be funded.
A 2018 survey by the National Union of Students found that 60% of British students wanted to learn about sustainability, and 80% wanted their institutions to act in a more sustainable manner.