Sustainability as a theme in higher education: Lessons learned and paths forward

Sustainability education is on the top agenda of many higher education institutions. Join the conversation!

Grønt blad med vanndråpe. Illustrasjonsfoto.


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Also available for participation by Zoom (no registration needed)

Higher education is part of a society about to experience profound changes. Tackling the combined and interlinked challenges of human-induced climate change, biodiversity loss and unsustainable consumption, and damages already inflicted to climate and ecosystems poses opportunities, calls for profound changes affecting the very fabric of society.

Sustainability education is on the top agenda of many higher education institutions. Academic institutions having the disinterested pursuit of new disciplinary knowledge as the primary goal are challenged as they educate future professionals into a world undergoing profound changes, where the complexity of sustainability issues calls for interdisciplinary cooperation across disciplines and institutions.

At the same time, ‘sustainability’ is not a unitary concept, having ‘broad’ as well as ‘narrow’ interpretations.

This seminar will present three cases where sustainability is sought strengthened in higher education. Each presentation will address

  • What concept(s) of sustainability education is addressed, what are the essential aspects?
  • How is sustainability addressed in the organization of teaching?
  • What role do students take?
  • What are the obstacles and successes at this stage?


Brief introduction of the agenda and the presenters which are part of the Circle U Alliance consisting of seven universities having contributing to a sustainable society as a key ambition. By professor Erik Knain, vice-dean at The Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.

Professor Marcel Robischon, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, and Circle U Chair for Climate: Sustainability as a crosscutting theme in higher education

Professor Eivind Engebretsen, The Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, and Circle U Chair for Global Health: The need for critical sustainability studies in higher education

Associate professors Ole Andreas Kvamme and Elin Sæther, University of Oslo: Making sense of frustration and complexity when introducing sustainability in teacher education

Discussion led by professor Erik Knain.

Publisert 16. feb. 2022 13:04 - Sist endra 23. feb. 2022 09:51