EUSTEPs

Background

EUSTEPs is a three-year sustainability education project focused on the ecological footprint, funded by IKY through the ERASMUS + program (KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education).
The goal of EUSTEPs is to educate European university students and the wider academic community on the complexity of sustainability and its interdisciplinary nature in an engaging and captivating way. The program aims to help educate a new generation of citizens and professionals attentive to sustainability, who will be trained to measure sustainability with the use of dedicated digital tools, thus introducing a new and necessary professional figure in society.
The project also aims to provide support for the assessment and reduction of the environmental impact of universities and wider the Higher Education Institutions of the European Union through a collaborative experiential approach based on an innovative application of the footprint ecological, with the intention of re-orienting and adapting the Ecological Footprint of educational institutions within the boundaries established by the resources of our single planet.
Title: EUSTEPs
Enhanching Universities' Sustainability TEeaching and Practices though Ecological Footprint
Funiding Program:
Erasmus+
Timeframe:
Nov 19 - Nov 22
(36 Months)

Objectives and partners

The project involves some of the leading experts on the subject, from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - AUTH (Project Coordinators, under the guidance of Professor George Malandrakis), together with the partners of the Universidade de Aveiro and Universidade Aberta of Portugal and the University of Siena, in addition to the partnership with the non-profit Global Footprint Network, which developed the methodology and applications of the ecological footprint.
The key objectives of the project are two:
  • develop an interactive learning platform that provides a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) and a series of customized modules for the four targets of the project (students, teaching staff, administrative staff and management bodies);
  • University Footprint Calculator, co-developed by academics, PhD students, administrative staff and representatives of NGOs through a participatory process, which will allow users to identify the unsustainability factors of institutions and to start a process to reduce their ecological impact.
Each partner is launching the project in their own university starting from the EUSTEPs pilot module to their undergraduate and master students, providing them with knowledge, skills and competencies to develop environmental awareness and attention to sustainability. At the end of the initial pilot course teaching, the module will be revised based on student feedback through a post-evaluation survey.
Furthermore, an intense training seminar for teachers and Ph.D. students is scheduled at the Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal, in the last week of May. The teaching staff will be trained on the ecological footprint and on sustainability, with particular attention to how to transfer the teachings of the pilot module and integrate it into their courses; Ph.D. students will learn the ecological footprint methodology by applying it to organizations and will begin to examine how they can contribute to the development of the University Footprint Calculator.

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