Universities are not just about conveying knowledge. They are crucial in teaching social and communication skills as well as competencies needed for addressing global problems. Turning knowledge into action is a major challenge that can only succeed with openness to innovative teaching formats and new didactic approaches. The teaching and learning concept Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) provides suggestions and tools that Freie Universität Berlin uses to this end. Additionally, it systematically implements research-oriented teaching.
In Winter Semester 2018/19, the new competence area Sustainable Development within the General Professional Skill Courses will launch. Four different modules address the 17 Sustainable Development Goals using the criteria of the ESD concept and combine groundwork and practical parts. In Sommer Semester 2018, the two pilot courses Shaping Sustainability and Managing Sustainability are already taking place.
In the Winter Semester 2017/18, 641 (15%) of the 4,213 courses offered included a reference to sustainability as defined in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Department of Political and Social Sciences places a strong emphasis on sustainability, but many other academic departments also offer a significant number of sustainability-related courses. The Sustainable Development Goals of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and Quality Education were the top sustainability themes addressed in university courses and at 348 events.