In June 2023, the University of Konstanz teamed up with 19 other German universities to form the network initiative “Transformative Skills for Sustainability”. Its goal: establishing a community of practice that promotes the teaching of transformative skills for sustainability across study programmes and anchors it in the respective course catalogues.
In the certificate programme “qualification N“, the University of Konstanz is already teaching transformative competencies for sustainability. Qualification N enables students from any programmes to explore and discuss complex societal challenges like climate change, limited resources or social injustice. The interdisciplinary programme involves theoretical training, practical projects and networking events.
In the new network initiative “Transformative Skills for Sustainability”, the University of Konstanz is now tackling the self-imposed challenge of reaching as many students from different disciplines as possible and training them to become change agents. To this end, the topic of sustainability and the associated transformative skills are to be anchored more comprehensively in the courses of the university’s individual departments and disciplines – i.e. beyond qualification N.
The University of Konstanz aims to meet this challenge with five key actions:
- Offering capacity building and training on sustainability skills for teaching staff
- Developing innovative teaching modules on sustainability-related topics that lecturers can easily integrate into existing classes
- Providing advisory services and networking opportunities for teaching staff
- Raising awareness to bring along teaching staff who do not yet see any links between sustainability-related topics, transformative skills and their teaching
- Promoting active participation and the empowerment of students
In the community of practice, which includes 20 universities as well as the Stifterverband, the Carl Zeiss Foundation and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt as project initiators, the University of Konstanz looks forward to an open exchange of knowledge, ideas, know-how, and best practices. Together with its partners, the university also aims to develop concrete teaching and learning concepts on transformative skills for sustainability. For this purpose, the programme includes four network-wide curriculum workshops. Projects resulting from the networking activities can receive funding from a total fund of currently 200,000 euros.
Contact: Barbara Ette, coordinator for teaching in the area of sustainability, University of Konstanz
Photo credits: Patrick Doodt; © University of Konstanz