4.3 Higher Education and TVET: Addressing pedagogy, curriculum, research and spaces of learning

Workshop Partners






Working Group discussing Goal 4.3 “By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”

Background :
The Sustainable Development Goal 4 is focused on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. More specifically the goal 4.3 aims to “by 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university’. Goal 4.4 aims to “by 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship”. It is important here to discuss the relevance of education, pedagogy and curriculum in the context of sustainability. The Tertiary and Higher Education institutions have to play the critical role of reinventing, innovating and developing content, teaching and research into making education relevant to achieving sustainability goals. Education is not limited to Goal 4 but its relevance to achieving SDGs in the broadest sense needs to be the way Higher and Tertiary Education addresses itself to achieving SDGs.

Global networks and partnerships play an important part in providing the impetus and bringing together institutions working in the area of Higher Education. Some of these such as the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), created as a partnership of UN entities (UNESCO, UN-DESA, UNEP, Global Compact, and UNU) in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) are aimed at galavanizing commitments from higher education institutions to teach and encourage research on sustainable development, greening campuses and support local sustainability efforts. (1)

The Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) also plays a central role in the transfer of global technologies, knowledge, and experiences at the local level through their programmes and activities and majorly coordinated from universities. Higher education is thus involved in enhancing collaborative partnerships for sustainable development and is taking a lead role in research and development as well.

Another very important initiative, the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES), a flagship programme of UNEP’s Environmental Education and Training Unit (EETU), aims to promote the integration of environment and sustainability concerns into teaching, research, community engagement, the management of universities including greening of university infrastructure/facilities/operations, as well as to enhance student engagement and participation in sustainability activities both within and beyond universities.

Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) focused on provision of relevant skills to youth for work, is designed to be inclusive and support lifelong learning. It has the scope for supporting transition of economies and societies to become low-carbon and sustainable. The tertiary education institutions and institutions engaged in TVET can together create an enabling atmosphere for societies to transform themselves into sustainable societies.

Aim of the workshop:
The workshop aimed at building on the experience of the tertiary and higher education institutions and the TVET institutions in developing pedagogy, curriculum and research for sustainability, to discuss the way forward for achieving SDGs, and identify areas for collaboration and further research in the way these institutions can promote sustainable development. It identified competencies required for achieving these education goals.

a. To share and learn from examples of good practices of Higher education institutions which have innovated in terms of pedagogy, methodology, curriculum for integrating sustainability concerns 
b. To discuss the role of knowledge creation by Higher education institutions in achieving SDGs
c. To discuss the role of HE and TVET in fulfilling the demand for quality skilled human resource
d. To discuss strategies to strengthen the institutions to be able to fulfil the need for such quality skilled human resource.
e. To discuss the roles and the way networks and partnerships such as the HESI, GUPES, RCE, TVET and other local and regional networks can collaborate to support achieving SDGs

a. Recommendations to the governments for strengthening HE institutions and vocational education institutions within their countries.
b. Identifying of examples that can be scaled up within and across countries
c. Collaboration and partnerships to support sustainability teaching and learning


CEE Focal point: Madhavi Joshi, Ketki Gadre, Vatsalya Shukla

madhavi.joshi@ceeindia.org, ketki.gadre@ceeindia.org, vatsalya.shukla@ceeindia.org

Workshop Sessions

Date & Time

Session Details

11 January 2016

14:30 - 15:00 Hrs. (0.5 Hrs.)


Session I
15:00 – 16:30 Hrs

Inauguration of Goal 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3
Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Minister of Education Government of Gujarat
Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director, CEE

  1. What is quality educationWhat are the barriers to quality education?Bringing gaps between countries in quality education: South-South cooperation on education for future-oriented vocational skills
  2. Enabling environment/ enabling factors that enhance quality


Session II
16:45 - 18:00 Hrs.
(1 Hr.)

Whole Institution Approach
(Common Session 4.1 and 4.3)

  1. How does it work?
  2. What are the good examples in the world?
  3. Scaling up and adapting model to different contexts – ideas


12 January 2016  

Session III
11:15- 13:15 Hrs.
(2 Hrs.)

Pedagogy and curriculum in higher education
Dr. Kimberly Smith, RCE Portland
Dr. Kishore Joshi, Professor of the economics of Higher Education, MK Bhavnagar University
Dr. N Ramkumar, Swami Vivekanand Youth Movement, Mysore
Dr. Erach Bharucha, Director, BVIEER
Rui Zhang, UNEP
Dr. Shepherd Urunje, SWEDESD
Dr. Janki Andharia, TISS

  1. How does sustainability get mainstreamed into curriculum?
  2. What are the opportunities for accelerating the change needed for curriculum reorientation?
  3. How do you make teachers and students stakeholders in the learning of sustainability?
  4. How does one connect learning to problem solving?

Session IV
14:30  - 16:00 Hrs.
(1.5 Hrs.)

Approaches to Measure Learning

(Common Session 4.1 and 4.3)

  1. What is to be assessed?
  2. What the challenges to assessment and strategies available?
  3. Methods and tools for assessment
  4. Possible indicators for monitoring progress towards SDGs?
  5. Further research in ESD? Ideas

13 January 2016 

Session V
09:45- 10:45 Hrs.
(1 Hr.)

Sharing and Learning networks and platforms
Rui Zhang, Associate Program Officer Environment Education and Training Unit, UNEP
Mahesh Pradhan, Chief, Environmental Education and Training Unit, UNEP
Jean Carteron, Director, CSR, KEDGE Business School
Kimberly Smith, Ikuno Suzuki, RCE
Ian Humphreys, Chief Executive of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful environmental charity
Torvald Jacobsson, Director, Young Masters Programme

  1. What are the best practice examples of networks around the world?
  2. How can networks cooperate, collaborate and share knowledge?


  1. How can networks be sustainable?

Session VI
11:15- 13:15 Hrs.
(2 Hrs.)

Recommendations and the way forward
Mahesh Pradhan, Chief, Environmental Education and Training Unit, UNEP
Dr. John Holmberg, Chalmers University
Dr. Kimberly Smith, RCE Portland
Jean Carteron, Director, CSR, KEDGE Business School



Total 9 Hours over 3 days