Education for sustainable development

Our courses and programmes aim to stimulate critical and independent thinking among our students, and their ability to take active responsibility in professional life and society.

One of the University's sustainable development goals is intended for our educational programmes:

Overall Goal 2021-2026

In all education that leads to a degree, issues dealing with different aspects of sustainable development must be introduced, discussed and problematised based on the subject area or the student’s future professional role. This is to strengthen the student’s ability to understand and handle complex problems and to reflect on how different perspectives, interests and values affect the priorities of individuals and societies.

Special Focus in Coming Years

Among many groups of teachers, there has long been a commitment to issues relating to sustainability. To achieve the overall goal, which is intended for all future graduates, all educational programmes at the University need to be involved in such work. Starting in 2023, all programmes will be asked both to describe and evaluate the work they are currently doing that can contribute to the achievement of the overall goal and to suggest changes where they see gaps or opportunities.

To support implementation, a written guide has been produced (see link below). The guide contains an introduction to the concept of sustainable development as well as a set of self-assessment questions. Parts of the self-assessment are to be discussed and answered in a workshop with teachers from the programme. The remaining parts are to be discussed and answered by a self-assessment group on a separate occasion. In addition to guidance and workshops, a resource kit with suggestions for reading and good examples will be made available.

Sustainable development in education: a guide for self-assessment and development of educational programmes (pdf)

In the spring semester 2023, there will be a pilot test of the guide involving six of the University’s educational programmes. After the guide has been fine-tuned, the idea is that all programmes (or main fields of study or course packages, depending on the organisation of the programme) are to be given the opportunity to carry out the self-assessment in subsequent semesters.

The following programmes will participate in the pilot:

  • Business Intelligence, 60 Credits + Data Science, 120 Credits, Second Cycle
  • Construction and Urban Planning Programme, 180 Credits, First Cycle
  • Bachelor of Arts in Pre-School Education, 210 Credits, First Cycle
  • International Tourism Management, 180 Credits, First Cycle
  • Master's Programme in Applied English Linguistics, 60 Credits, Second Cycle
  • Master’s Programme in Physiotherapy, 60 Credits, Second Cycle

Existing Support

In order to support, develop and follow up the integration of sustainable development in educational programmes, Dalarna University has previously employed the following:

Professional development for employees in sustainable development
In order both to equip teachers so that they can integrate sustainable development into their teaching and to inspire them, the University has developed the course Education for Sustainable Development. This is offered once a year. Read more about the course (in Swedish).

Systematic integration of sustainability issues into teaching
One way to ensure that sustainability issues are integrated into courses and programmes is to have policies in place that state this is to be the case. University documents that are used in the establishment of main fields of study and educational programmes, as well as for evaluations of courses and programmes, state that sustainability perspectives must be taken into account.

Student focus on sustainable development in degree projects
Students need to be encouraged to focus their degree projects on sustainable development. Every year, Dalarna University awards a travel grant of 10 000 kr to a student whose thesis most strongly contributes to a sustainable society. The Sustainable Development Council at Dalarna University decides who receives the award. Read more about the travel grant.


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