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Sustainability in teaching & learning

At the University of Cologne, we train the next generation to become responsible members of tomorrow's society. We want to provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills and enable them to acquire essential tools to shape a more sustainable world in an active, foresightful, value-conscious and committed way. According to the mission statement and the quality goals of teaching and learning, we base our work on research and make it accessible to the public through Open Access and assess our work through our own quality management system Q3UoC.

Sustainability-related degree programmes

In addition to the traditional sustainability-related subjects (e.g. geosciences and meteorology), the International Master of Environmental Sciences represents a particularly unique interdisciplinary degree programme in collaboration with five Faculties (Law; Mathematics and Natural Sciences; Medicine and Management, Philosophy, Economics and Social Sciences). The recently established Bachelor of Science in Management, Economics and Social Sciences - Driving Sustainable Change is very popular with students and combines topics from economics, management, psychology and sociology. There is no doubt that the high demand for interdisciplinary degree programmes with a focus on the SDGs reflects the need and interest of future students to deal with current transdisciplinary topics in order to address the challenges of the future. The further development of the UoC's research profile in sustainability matters offers the opportunity to integrate them in the teaching and learning profile of our university, too. In order to support a holistic sustainability strategy at the UoC, the following measures will be taken in the future: Creating research-based teaching and learning programmes on the challenges identified in the SDGs, establishing related innovative and interdisciplinary degree programmes as well as expanding and strengthening the interplay between research, teaching and transfer regarding sustainability.  This also applies to the practical degree programmes, such as teacher training, law and medicine.

Sustainability learning offers at a European level

The European University for Well-Being (EUniWell), the European University Alliance headed by the University of Cologne, enables our students to participate in learning offers on the topic of sustainability at a European level. The UoC will open its new degree programmes to students from the other EUniWell universities. In addition to specific curricular offers and degree programmes in the field of sustainability, all students should be made aware of the crises and challenges of climate change. To this end, the open lectures and lecture series as well as offers in Studium Integrale (Service Learning and Sustainability Manager Certificate Programme) will be expanded.

Further development of teaching and learning offers

In order to meet the challenges for sustainable development and to make this research focus a part of all Key Profile Areas of the UoC, we will extend the teaching and learning offers as follows:

  1. Broad range of courses in Studium Integrale (modules from all Faculties, lecture series)
  2. Establishing new and further development of existing degree programmes (e.g. Global Cultures and Environments, Material and Sustainable Chemistry, international Master’s degree in Climate, courses in the Economics Master's degree programme Energy and Climate Economics, focus area ‘Sustainability and Law’) in conjunction with the corresponding research profile in the field of sustainability
  3. Integration of sustainability-related microcredentials over the entire student life cycle for all UoC students who want to gain more knowledge particularly in the field of sustainability (based on modules of Studium Integrale and other competencies)
  4. Integration of the programme ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ (ESD) into the teacher training; development of an additional certificate (similar to the ‘Studium inklusiv’ (Inclusive Studies) that can be obtained by attending ESD-related courses.