The Malta Independent 26 May 2024, Sunday
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Maltese researchers participate in European project on integrating sustainability in education

Sunday, 14 April 2024, 09:15 Last update: about 2 months ago

The EU's agenda increasingly integrates sustainable development, as reflected in its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Green Deal. As human societies put increasing pressures on ecosystems, threatening runaway climate change and ecosystem collapse, such projects are more important than ever. Without a rapid transformation towards a more sustainable society, the conditions that have, until now, allowed humans and other lifeforms to flourish, will cease to exist.


Prof. Paul Pace and Dr Jane Spiteri from the University of Malta are participating in a European research project, called Susedi, on adopting a Whole Institution Approach (WIA) to sustainability. A WIA draws on systems thinking, connecting environmental issues to socioeconomic and political ones. It looks at many different aspects of the functioning of educational institutions: curricula and pedagogy, governance, sustainable consumption and the institution's interaction with the wider community. Susedi aims to develop the sustainability competencies of educators, leaders and administrative staff of educational institutions. Lastly, through the adoption of a WIA, educational institutions will model good behaviours and changes towards a more sustainable society.

In recent months, a workshop took place in Larissa, Greece where project participants discussed and developed possible activities within the systemic framework being developed. This follows an earlier meeting which took place in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Susedi will target the social, the pedagogical and the organisational aspects of educational institutions. Among other objectives, the project also includes the creation of a certification scheme for educational institutions adopting a WIA to sustainability, based on ISO standards.

The Maltese researchers are participating in the project along with 12 other education institutions and organisations around Europe, including Sapienza University (Italy), Associazione Nazionale Orientatori (Italy), Regional Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education of the Region of Peloponnese (Greece), Dimitra Educational Organisation (Greece), Valencia Inno Hub (Spain), the University of Galway (Ireland), the University of Lodz (Poland), Łukasiewicz-Institute for Sustainable Technologies (Poland), Frederick University (Cyprus), Cyprus Pedagogical Institute (Cyprus), the Mediterranean Management Centre (Cyprus) and Kypriaki Eteria Pistopoiisis (Cyprus).

More information on the project may be found on

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