The Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU) is one of the world’s leading research institutes in the fields of comparative and international environmental and sustainable energy politics and policy. The FFU conducts both academic and policy-oriented research. In addition, FFU faculty and associates have developed specialized educational programs on energy and the environment for undergraduate, master’s students as well as PhD candidates. Approximately 30 researchers, staff, and student assistants plus 100 master’s and PhD students work and study in an international and multi-lingual environment. Since 2008 the project Schools @ University for Sustainability and Climate Protection (before: schools @ university climate + energy) added the topic Education for Sustainability as an important focal point at FFU. In 2011 the initiative SUSTAIN IT! emphasized this development.
Education and lifelong learning is the key to sustainable development. The necessary changes towards sustainable development require a societal shift in consciousness which can be reached only by a reorientation of education and the participation of the whole society. The United Nations has therefore declared the UN Decade "Education for Sustainable Development" (ESD) for the years 2005 to 2014, with the aim of anchoring the concept of sustainable development in all sectors of education. BNE's target is to enable children, young people, students and adults to be active in the development of an environmentally acceptable, socially equitable, economically efficient environment. Also, there will be a global perspective of the issue.
Make education shape new methods and formats
Since 2005, the FFU engages in the implementation of these cross-cutting issues and the development of education and teaching formats which meet the educational theoretical premises of openness, reflexivity and future ability to allow participation (including in the form of future workshops, plan and role play) and to support the acquisition of management skills.
With the interdisciplinary and interactive program of the Schools @ University project Freie Universität Berlin shows how ESD can be implemented lively and how the university can contribute practically to the spread of the ESD-approach in order to encourage young people to become responsible actors. In recognition of this the Schools @ University project was honoured by the UNESCO and others as a role model for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).