Sustainability as a theme in higher education

Sustainability education is on the top agenda of many higher education institutions. Join the conversation on lessons learned and paths forward.

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
    Professor Erik Knain, vice-dean at The Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.
  • Sustainability as a crosscutting theme in higher education
    Professor Marcel Robischon, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, and Circle U. Chair for Climate
  • The need for critical sustainability studies in higher education
    Professor Eivind Engebretsen, The Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, and Circle U. Chair for Global Health
  • Making sense of frustration and complexity when introducing sustainability in teacher education
    Associate professors Ole Andreas Kvamme and Elin Sæther, University of Oslo
  • Discussion led by professor Erik Knain.
Published Feb. 18, 2022 8:59 AM - Last modified Mar. 23, 2022 2:43 PM