Project Announced

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Funding to set new learning standards

Dr Bonnie McBain from the School of Environmental and Life Sciences along with Dr Liam Phelan from GradSchool obtained funding of $220,000 from the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching in the 2013 (Round Two) Innovation and Development Grants Program.

Their project, Learning and Teaching Academic Standards (LTAS) Project for Environment and Environmental Sustainability will aim to develop minimum learning standards for tertiary students studying areas such as environmental sustainability or sustainable development. 

"Given the complexity of increasingly pressing national and international sustainability challenges, it is critical that Australian higher education institutions produce graduates with the skills and knowledge essential to bringing about a sustainable and just future," said Bonnie. 

"Ensuring the quality of tertiary student learning will be essential to achieving this outcome," she added. 

The project will commence in February when the five participating Universities will review current standards and propose refined standards to be tested against existing programs in 10 pilot studies before the final standards are endorsed by the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (ACEDD) in early 2015. 

The University of Newcastle is partnering with Flinders University, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales and Australian National University. 

The LTAS Project for Environment and Environmental Sustainability hopes to benefit students through a higher quality of learning and allow those teaching in the environmental education field to use the standards as guidance for program design and curriculum development. 

There are opportunities for those studying or working in the environment or sustainability field to collaborate with the project in building the standards this year.