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Project Summary

Higher Education Institutions face challenges related to the slow progress regarding the implementation of the UN Decade of ESD (2004-2015). This is due to a number of barriers such as, limited staff awareness and expertise, overcrowded curricula, lack of new teaching methods and courses to address sustainability. As a response to these challenges, seven European Universities with considerable experiences in the fields of ICT and ESD formed a Consortium to propose a project entitled “ICT-enabled in Education for Sustainable Development.” This project aims to develop a joint Master degree (deployed on an advanced virtual platform) in ICT in ESD which will be offered in English. The course will target experienced practitioners in schools, community education, NGOs, government bodies and development agencies, all of whom are engaged in applying ESD.

The content/curriculum will be based on participatory design (e.g. involving end-users in the process); interdisciplinary; contextual (dealing with local/global issues); holistic (balancing environmental, social, cultural and economic pillars of sustainable development); and interactive (ICT-based). It integrates reflective/problem-based learning and provides tools and services that facilitate “social networking” that allows for virtual collaboration and virtual peer mentoring amongst learners and e-tutors. The project will produce: a) a curriculum for the joint Master degree amounting to 120 ECTS; b) an e-training toolkit on ESD for training e-tutors; c) a virtual learning platform to manage and deliver the content of the curriculum and the e-training toolkit; d) training of 25 university staff as e-tutors. The project will: advance ESD in Europe and globally; respond to the Bologna priorities for reforming Higher Education through more accessible and flexible learning opportunities; promote the UN DESD; and advance ERASMUS virtual student and staff mobility and prepare European teachers for building more sustainable futures.

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