Sustainable practice integrated into all Charles Sturt undergraduate degrees

16 JANUARY 2020

Charles Sturt University's updated Graduate Learning Outcomes aim to ensure that by 2024, all undergraduate students will be able to demonstrate sustainable practice applicable to their course and career.

  • Charles Sturt is striving to ensure that all undergraduate students will be able to demonstrate sustainable practice applicable to their course and career by 2024
  • Sustainable Practices Graduate Learning Outcomes will be applied to all Charles Sturt undergraduate courses
  • Processes to integrate sustainable practice into all undergraduate degrees commenced in late 2017 when Charles Sturt adopted the Graduate Attributes Policy

Charles Sturt University is in the process of implementing the University’s updated Graduate Learning Outcomes (GLOs), which aim to ensure that by 2024 all undergraduate students will be able to demonstrate sustainable practice applicable to their course and career.

The updates to the GLOs started in late 2017 when Charles Sturt adopted a Graduate Attributes Policy.

The policy commits the University to ensure graduates are able to practice a range of fundamental skills that reflect ‘yindyamarra winhanganha’, the Wiradjuri phrase which translates to ‘the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well in a world worth living in’.

The adoption of the new policy saw Charles Sturt commit to incorporating sustainable practice into all of the University’s degrees as well as the University’s GLOs, which outline the standards all undergraduate students must meet.

The Academic Lead on the project to integrate sustainability into Charles Sturt’s undergraduate courses, Dr Jonathon Howard, said the University has been working closely with numerous other universities and academics to work out ways that sustainable practices can be applied to a range of course disciplines – from accounting and psychology to paramedicine and wine science.

“One of the critical things about the changes was making it easy for academics to integrate sustainability into courses and their teaching,” Dr Howard said.

“From working with other universities and academics, we have now got examples of teaching resources from across the globe – from Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Americas.”

“We partnered this information with examples of assessment so that Charles Sturts academics across a range of disciplines will find the change easy to implement.”

The need for universities in Australia to integrate sustainability into their teaching of all courses is becoming more important than ever, according to Dr Howard.

“The past year and the start of this year have been a year of extremes. We have fire, flood, and drought, and the issue of climate change has been front and centre,” he said.

“The changes we are making to our teaching demonstrate we aim to make sure all Charles Sturt University graduates will be able to do a range of sustainable practices, such as reduce their waste, grow crops with less water, and better support communities to recover from disasters.

“Not only will our students graduate with a degree, but they will leave the university with a set of skills ready to respond to the wider community’s needs and the uncertain future graduates face.”

Dr Howard said these changes will not only enhance graduate career paths and further cement Charles Sturt University as the number one Australian university for graduate employment, but will also position Charles Sturt as an industry leader for teaching and learning in the sustainability space. 

"Charles Sturt University now has a world-class resource that many universities are yet to implement,” Dr Howard said.

“When you look across all Australian universities, few get ranked as being world class in sustainability, and if they do it is for research and operations rather than for teaching.

“We are showing leadership in this area and our students will reap the benefits of that."

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Howard, contact Rebecca Tomkins at Charles Sturt Media on 02 6365 7111 or news@csu.edu.au

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Charles Sturt University Teaching and Education