Signatories to the MoU confirm their dedication to reshaping Bavarian higher education institutions towards greater environmental sustainability. Institutions will devise sustainability strategies to affect their research, teaching, administration and operations at every level of the organisation. Delegates from the institutions that signed the MoU will meet in January 2020.
‘This way, universities are doing their part to future-proof society, and to be responsible towards the environment,’ said Professor Carola Jungwirth, President of the University of Passau. She pointed out that, from the day it was founded in 1978, the University of Passau has been consciously engaged with the theme of sustainability. As a result, our campus uses state-of-the-art building services engineering, smart heat recovery ventilation systems, and solutions like the river-fed cooling system for the server rooms of the ITZ Building. ‘We’re delighted that dedication to sustainability is now becoming institutionalised across Bavaria through this network.’
The Bavarian conference of student representation councils (Landes-ASten-Konferenz Bayern) and the Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts, which funds the sustainability network’s office in Munich, welcomed the initiative. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Commission for UNESCO have certified the network as a ‘role model for sustainability’ as part of UNESCO’s Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. ‘The wide variety of active participants involved, which includes university leaders, teachers, researchers and administrators, student initiatives, civic society organisations, and Bavarian state ministries demonstrates the network’s connectivity’, the jury commented. The sustainability network contributes significantly to furthering education about sustainable development.
Sustainability at the University of Passau
At the University of Passau, the topic of sustainability is embedded and promoted in the teaching framework. Initiatives include a public general lecture in the winter semester, the opportunity for students to enrol in courses run by the Virtual Academy of Sustainability, and assigning staff to teach classes that include sustainability-related themes in the curricula of various disciplines. In the 2019 THE University Impact Ranking, which judges universities’ efforts against UN targets for sustainable development, the University of Passau was ranked among the top 30% of all participating universities globally.
Scientists 4 Future
Currently, the lecture series ‘Scientists 4 Future’ is under way. In this series, academics from various disciplines encourage thought and discourse. The next upcoming event is:
27 January 2020 – Professor Bernhard Stahl, University of Passau: ‘Drive by sight – on the unsustainability of international politics’
For more sustainability events and initiatives at the University of Passau, visit www.uni-passau.de/nachhaltigkeit/. The Memorandum of Understanding and the agreed sustainability principles can be viewed at www.nachhaltigehochschule.de/english/