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Environmental Governance for Environmental Curricula
Start date: Oct 15, 2010,

In the former USSR environmental protection was understood as a set of engineering measures; interests and expertise of stakeholder groups were often ignored. As a result, even the best engineered solutions led to unexpected socio-economic problems. This attitude also drove the development of environmental sciences and professional training. Issues of environmental policy (or rather environmental governance) are still considered unimportant in many universities in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, or their presence in curricula is formal. This, and weak integration in international research communities often lead to a situation when in new curricula novel developments are limited to adjusted terminology and new approaches of engineering nature. As a result, environmental graduates with robust natural science or engineering education have difficulties with identifying environmental problems and suggesting balanced solutions / translating them into sound policies. A related problem is that environmental practitioners and educators do not cooperate; this affects the quality of training and employability of graduates. Evaluation and self-evaluation tools are also far from operational.To address this, we propose (1) to revise BSc courses in environmental sciences in partner universities, upgrading them in general and introducing environmental governance context; (2) to set up at partner universities joint MSc and PhD programs in Environmental Governance, (3) to create a set (five) of textbooks covering multidisciplinary issues of environmental studies, especially emerging and rapidly developing fields, (4) to set-up national permanent seminars of environmental educators and employers and a web-portal, (5) to introduce new mechanisms of evaluation and self-evaluation. Points (2) and (3) include development of curricula and syllabuses, re/training of teachers and short mobility periods for faculty and students, especially in support to international network-building.
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