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Reorient University Curricula to Address Sustainability
Start date: Oct 15, 2010,

Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the Arab region face challenges related to the slow progress regarding the implementation of the UN Decade (2004-2015) of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). This is due to a number of barriers such, limited staff awareness and expertise and lack of appropriate curricula, new teaching methods and courses to address ESD. Some HEI in Europe have developed high expertise in this field and joined efforts with a number of HEI from the Arab region along with UNESCO Regional Office for the Arab States and pioneering NGOs to form a Consortium to tackle the identified constraints and needs. The overriding goal of the project is to help partner HEI in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon embed ESD into their curricula. The Project will initiate a wide range of activities to develop resources, revise and develop new curriculum initiatives, build capacity and strengthen national and regional networks. Curriculum review and revision will be carried out in the disciplines of Educational & Social Sciences, Engineering, Information Technology and Applied Sciences. An ESD student competency framework will be developed, validated and surveyed among undergraduate students across these disciplines. Then, appropriate resources will be developed such as an ESD Curriculum Review Toolkit, Virtual Centers for Curriculum Reform in every partner HEI and workshops to prepare university staff for curriculum review and development of syllabuses/modules (N=250) addressing ESD. ESD curriculum revision in the nationally/regionally prioritized disciplines will be implemented and institutionalised in every partner HEI to ensure continuity. It is expected that more than 40% of the content of the study programs will be redesigned to address ESD. A pilot initiative for student placement and practicum (N=600) in local NGOs and industry/companies connected to SD will strengthen the role of HEI in society to reach the targets of the UN DESD in the region and worldwide.

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