Ecocampus: Programme for sustainable tertiary education of the Flemish Ministry of Environment, Nature and Energy
Countries throughout Europe agree on the pivotal role of tertiary education in sustainable development. This is has been confirmed by several international agreements like the EU Sustainable Development Strategy or the UNECE ESD-strategy. But can tertiary education independently deliver on these big expectations? In Belgium, the Flemish government decided to support tertiary education in its orientation towards sustainability. Thus, the Ecocampus program was born in 2008.
The Ecocampus program was built on principles of transition management, like a high degree of participation and a system-wide approach. Ecocampus focuses on educators, researchers and students.
First, stimulate experimenting with sustainability issues.
Second, stimulate the development of a sustainability reflex in teaching-practice, research-practice and student life.
Third, augment the group’s power to act by stimulating a favourable and enterprising environment in tertiary education.The output of the program so far has been varied. They include different instruments like the guidebook “sustainable development as a compass for defining learning outcomes” or the EDGE-kit to help integrate sustainability in economic majors. They include various platforms through which exchange is possible, like the learning networks and the Commission “Sustainable Tertiary Education” for the board-members of institutions. They include a database with good practices and many more.
A recent update of the program added a new dimension to the program. Ecocampus aims to be the bridge between the international ‘sustainable tertiary education’-community and Flanders. In this light, Ecocampus became a member of the COPERNICUS Alliance. Membership provides us with opportunities to learn from others and spread international good practices in Flanders. We also hope to share Flemish good practices with COPERNICUS. Finally, we hope to learn what the international community defines as current priority barriers in order to set up new pilot projects – and possibly international collaborations – concerning these barriers.
- An English website on Ecocampus will be up and running by the beginning of 2016. In the meantime, please discover our English publication “Sustainable Higher Education – Understanding and Moving Forward”. http://www.vlaanderen.be/nl/publicaties/detail/ontwerpen-voor-het-onbekende-1?section=1