Heriot-Watt University 'Inspiring Learning' New Year Lecture 2022

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We are delighted to welcome Professor Zoe Robinson (Keele University) to give the 'Inspiring Learning' New Year Lecture 2022.

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Response and responsibility: the role of universities and the curriculum in a more sustainable future

Professor Zoe Robinson (Keele University)

08:00 UK | 12:00 Dubai | 16:00 Malaysia


Awareness of the need for urgent action to ensure a more sustainable future seems to have reached a tipping point, seen through declarations of climate emergencies, increasing focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the magnification of climate change in the public and government eye brought about through COP26.

Higher Education Institutions have long been recognised as a major contributor to society’s efforts to achieve sustainability through their own strategies and operations, the skills and knowledge that its graduates put into practice, and the role of research, knowledge transfer and business and community engagement. The practical implementation of the contribution of universities to a sustainable future has a long way to go and is not without challenges.

‘Education for sustainability’ can take many forms, from the formal curriculum we teach, the co-curriculum in the opportunities we provide for students, and the ‘hidden curriculum’, in the learning that occurs from the environment in which we live, work and study. But how do we as educators navigate the tensions and synergies between the drive to ensure employable, high earning graduates, metrics driven league tables, and the responsibility to ensure our students - society’s future leaders - are equipped to become knowledgeable and engaged actors with the skills to educate and influence others, and the agency to enact change?

About the Speaker:

Zoe Robinson is a Professor of Sustainability in Higher Education at Keele University and the University’s Director of Education for Sustainability with responsibility for embedding sustainability across the curriculum and student experience. Zoe is also the Interim Director of the University’s Institute for Sustainable Futures a cross-university Institute which aims to drive transdisciplinary applied sustainability-focused research, education and training. Zoe is a researcher, educator and practitioner in the field of sustainability science with a background in sustainability, climate change and energy transition education and community engagement. In recognition of her work in education for sustainability, Zoe was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2012, is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and was shortlisted in the ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ category of the Times Higher Education Award in 2019. Zoe has worked in an advisory capacity around education for sustainability for the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges and National Union of Students and was in the Advisory Group of the new QAA and Advance HE (2021) ESD Guidance and the new QAA ESD Playbook. She also carries out research around social acceptance of the energy transition and user centric design of smart local energy systems.

BSL interpreting will be provided.

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The Learning & Teaching Academy was established in 2019 to support Heriot-Watt University’s ambition to be Pioneering in Education and to realise the Inspiring Learning vision of the Learning and Teaching Strategy 2019-2025. Keep up to date with our latest news and events by signing up for our newsletter!

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