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Sustainability Education and Research: Research, Teaching and Learning

As an institution whose core purpose is learning and the dissemination of knowledge, Rhodes University is well-positioned to contribute to the global project of pursuing sustainability.
Dr Sizwe Mabizela, Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University.

Sustainability Education and Research is one of the Environmental Policy directives. Rhodes University is committed to embracing sustainability as a critical focus of its teaching, research and community engagement, in order to improve human well-being and environmental health within the university and in the broader community.

Faculties across the university with the academic departments are responsible for enhancing the environmental and sustainability focus in teaching, learning and research in line with the Policy‌.

An ethos of lifelong learning empowers students and leaders – now and in the future – to remain critically conscious of their attitudes and practices, adapt to contextual changes, and meaningfully address environmental concerns as they arise, in order to promote a sustainable future on an ongoing basis.

Innovative research and development play a key role in finding sustainable solutions, as does a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach.

Connect directly with the faculty officer for more information.


Sustainability Education and Research Projects  (in the process of being updated and expanded on): 

Rhodes University's commitment to sustainability in research, teaching and learning, and the knowledge transfer thereof are evident in projects, including:  

Community Engagement recently launched Vuka Makana, a call for the Makana public and Rhodes community to join forces in the fight for the betterment of out community. Going above and beyond encouraging citizens to do good and volunteer their time and services, the initiative calls for diverse individuals to integrate, communicate and collaborate in order to brighten up the city.  Vuka Makana is about giving and taking, teaching and learning - offer your services to improve an aspect of the city and in return, take something back from the community that you can integrate into your everyday life.

Visit the Department of Education and Environmental Learning Research Centre to explore postgraduate collaborative projects focusing on environmental education, training, and social learning practice. Examples include the Amanzi for Food project, Limpopo Basic Curriculum Innovation Network, Transformative Knowledge Network/ T-Learning, Fundisa for Change, Food for Us, Eco-Schools, GreenSkills, Tsitsa River Catchment and One Ocean Hub projects. 

See Stories of Change, USAT Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities, a fifteen year Rhodes University research project culminating in the UNEP/UNESCO/AAU partnership project assessing the level of integration of sustainability in university functions, in 35 institutions of higher learning across Africa and Asia. Recommendations emerging from this research include the following points: be upfront about mainstreaming environment and sustainability in university written statements, build a shared understanding of sustainability, define what contextual sustainable development issues there are in your organisation and its context, and adopt a holistic approach to mainstreaming and sustainability, for example, by developing interdisciplinary curricula, making it a campus-wide initiative, and supporting collaborative work in sustainable development issues. See the Unit-based Sustainability Assessment Tool.


Last Modified: Fri, 07 Feb 2020 08:12:29 SAST