About us


The Environmental Learning Research Centre is the home of a vibrant and diverse community of scholars and environmental education practitioners and forms a regional hub of environmental learning innovation. 


The centre hosts a postgraduate research programme of between 50 to 60 Masters and PhDs scholars. We increasingly work with local, national, regional and international partners to develop research-informed and research-led short and certificate courses; the ELRC enjoys collaborative partnerships with over 50 partners across the world. Linked to this, the research and teaching programme of the ELRC continues to increase in size and scope and enjoys a high demand for its courses and programmes. Through these partnerships, centre aims to promote and encourage social scientific methodological innovation to produce knowledge of African education and social–ecological contexts.

In support of this collaborative approach to knowledge-building, the ELRC’s Sustainability Commons has been developed as a space for social innovation, engaging the border zones between the academy, public sector and civil society; between theory and practice; and knowledge, learning and human agency.

Our history
The ELRC was established 25 years ago through the Murray & Roberts Chair of Environmental Education, Africa’s first and only Chair of Environmental Education. In 1997, the ELRC expanded to include the Gold Fields Service Centre, forming the Rhodes Environmental Education Unit, which offered expanded professional development, and policy development services to South African post-apartheid system building, and South Africa’s expanded interactions within SADC. 
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Last Modified: Tue, 15 Mar 2022 17:20:41 SAST

Latest News

Studying at the ELRC

Doctoral Research

The Doctoral Study in Environment and Sustainability Education contributes knowledge on learning, sustainability and social and education system change. This research programme is led by the Murray & Roberts Chair of Environment and Sustainability Education.

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Masters in Education

This Masters degree (Environment and Sustainability Education specialisation) is designed for practising environmental education, training and development. It is a full-thesis programme that may be undertaken on either a full or part-time basis, with in-person teaching blocks scheduled throughout the year. 

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BEd (Hons) in Environmental Education

The Bachelor of Education (Honours) degree programme facilitates the ability to critically engage with educational issues. It is a 2 year part-time programme offered in Grahamstown, South Africa and a second offered in Namibia.

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Short Courses

The Environmental Learning Research Centre offers a short course programme. Please visit our gateway here for the latest offering. 

Research Projects and Partnerships

One Ocean Hub

The One Ocean Hub aims to transform our response to the urgent challenges facing our ocean.

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The Knowledges Commons

A Knowledge Commons at the ELRC provides a space for social innovation, engaging the border zones between the academy, public sector and civil society; between theory and practice; and knowledge, learning and human agency.

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M&E in a SETA environment

In March 2018 Rhodes University (ELRC, NALSU and Community Engagement) were awarded a Research Chair to focus on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) in a SETA Environment.

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T-learning

The t-learning transformative knowledge network (TKN) is one of three international transformative knowledge networks supported by the International Social Sciences Council within their programme on Transformations to Sustainability. 

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Amanzi for Food

Amanzi for Food is a Water Research Commission project lead by the Environmental Learning Research Centre at Rhodes University.

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Food for Us

Food for Us is funded through the 10YFP Trust Fund established by UNEP and was selected through an open 10YFP Trust Fund Call for Proposals for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme with the financial support of the Government of Japan.

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Green Skills Project

The Green Skills Project responds to the need for more proactive, concerted and coordinated efforts to analyse, plan for and develop green skills for South Africa, with a focus on the post - schooling system.
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Fundisa for Change

Fundisa for Change is a collaborative national programme formed specifically to enhance transformative environmental learning through teacher education. 
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Sustainability Commons

The Sustainability Commons is a space where ideas and technologies for sustainable development can be tested and explored. 

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The Tsitsa Project

The Tsitsa Project is a novel approach to restoring and managing land and water sustainably in the Tsitsa River Catchment

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Eco-Schools

The ELRC is host to the Eco-Schools Makana node, consisting of between 7 -15 schools from the Makana area.
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EEASA

The Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA) was founded in September 1982 as a result of interaction between educationalists and environmentalists. 

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The Environmental Learning Research Centre is the home of a vibrant and diverse community of scholars and environmental education practitioners, and forms a regional hub of environmental learning innovation.

Rhodes University ELRC