International Summer School 2015: «Greening the Curriculum – Integration of Sustainability Aspects into University Education»
7th - 18th September 2015 in Dnepropetrovsk, Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTUCS) and National Mining University (NMU) held. The event was held with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the framework of the «Summer School of German Universities abroad».
International Summer Schools BTU-NMU are systematically held in Dnepropetrovsk on the basis of various faculties of NMU in which famous German scientists and experts convey the unique knowledge and skills on the subject of sustainable development. For example, successfully conducted Joint International Summer Schools: «Environmental Assessment: EIA and SEA», 10-21 September, 2007; «Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) – Potential for Mitigation and Adaptation to Impacts Climate Change»18-29 Mai, 2009; «Integrated Environmental Planning and Adaptation to Climate Change», 13‑24 September, 2010. The main part of the audience were students of 4-5 courses and postgraduate students of Dnepropetrovsk universities on specialties: «Ecology and Environmental Protection», «Environmental Economics», «Management», «Marketing», «Law».
Summer School 2015 is fundamentally different in its objectives and audience. The event was developed by Department of Environmental Planning BTU together with the Institute of Economics in cooperation with the Educational and Scientific Center for International Cooperation (ESC IC) NMU with implementation of Plan of Action 2014-2016 «Establishment of an international network of universities ECO-Campus for cooperation in the field of greening the curriculum and the development of online distance learning». This Plan was adopted as a result of the international workshop held by German Society of the International Cooperation – GIZ, Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus-Senftenberg, National Mining University and National University of Science and Technology – MISiS (Moscow, Russia), 21-22 July, 2014 (Cottbus, Germany).
Bearing in mind the decision of Rectors’ Workshop «Cooperation and International Networking of Universities on Responsible Natural Resource Management» at the National Mining University (28-29 November, 2013, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine), the Parties have planned a number of measures to promote greening curricula and development of online distance learning in the system of university partners.
At the initiative of Prof. V. Y. Shvets (Head of the Institute of Economics, NMU), supported by Prof. Dr. Michael Schmidt (Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Process Engineering, BTUCS) and Berthold Hansmann (Representative of GIZ), at the Institute of Economics NMU it was planned a pilot project to test the readiness of students and teachers for the transition to Greening the Curriculum. The study, which was conducted during the winter semester 2014/2015, revealed the urgent need to raise awareness of teachers and methodological support for ‘green’ education.
The results of the experience of the pilot project (speaker - Ass. Prof. L. Palekhova, Head of the research group) were discussed on professional seminar at Brandenburg Technical University (27th November, 2014, Cottbus) and largely defined the new concept of Summer School 2015. It was recognized that education should be aimed not only at specialty in the field of environment and environmental management, but mainly at economic specialties, mining-metallurgical and other specializations, which are particularly responsible for sustainable development in various fields.
As a result, the target audience of Summer School 2015 were young lecturers and scientists of different faculties of technical universities of Dnepropetrovsk. Program of Summer School 2015 took into account the experience of the Institute of Economics on the online learning with platform ECO-Campus, which was developed jointly by GIZ and BTU.
Classes were conducted by leading scientists of Brandenburg Technical University of Cottbus-Senftenberg.
Prof. Dr. Michael Schmidt (specialist in environmental planning, sustainable development and climate change adaptation) held lectures on topic: «Syndromes of Global Change as Drivers for Sustainable Development», «Indicators, Goals and Targets for Sustainable Development», «Global Climate Change and its Impacts» etc.
Prof. Dr. Eike Albrecht (a specialist in civil and public law with a focus on environmental and European law) conducted an interesting lectures and trainings on topics: «Public Participation in Environmental Assessment», «Climate Change in International Environmental Law and Policy» etc.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Voigt (expert in management, integrated planning, protection and monitoring of water resources) held classes on topics: «European Policy on Protection of Water Resources», «Protection and Monitoring of Groundwater in Germany» et al.
Active discussions were caused by lectures of Ass. Prof. Dr. Dmitry Palekhov (coordinator of the PhD-program «Environmental and Resource Management» in BTU, a specialist in the field of environmental protection law with an emphasis on sustainable development tools): «Introduction to the Concept and History of Sustainable Development», «Response to Climate Change – Mitigation», «Aral Sea Syndrome and Environmental Impacts of Large Scale Projects», «EIA System in Ukraine» et al.
M.Sc. Nigel Downes (expert in urban planning and integrated environmental planning) held a series of lectures on Environmental Issues related to the Urbanisation Processes, Adaptation to Climate Change in Urban Planning.
Guest lectures by leading scientists and experts of universities of Dnepropetrovsk make a major contribution to the implementation of the objectives of Summer School 2015.
Prof. Dr. Vasily Shvets (NMU, Dnepropetrovsk) discussed the problem of the energy sector of Ukraine and role of the higher education in promotion of policies for sustainable development.
Lecture of Prof. Dr. Vladimir Shatokha (National Metallurgical Academy of Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk) raised a high interest, that was dedicated to the problems of Evironmental Impacts of the Metallurgical Sector in Ukraine.
Lectures of Associate Prof., Dr. Ludmila Palekhova (NMU, Dnepropetrovsk) were relevant and interesting, in which discussed the issues of responsible production in the mining sector, and Standards of Social Responsibility and Accountability with regard to energy companies in the globalized energy markets.
Prof. Dr. Mykola Savytskyi (Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Dnepropetrovsk) revealed the major Sustainability Initiatives in the Construction Sector of Ukraine.
Dr. Marina Babenko (Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture) told about the Response to Climate Change in the Construction Sector of Ukraine.
The organizers have taken into account the high public interest in the global project «Energy efficiency in communities Ukraine», which is held by GIZ in a number of regions in Ukraine. In this regard program of Summer School 2015 included a meeting with the regional representative of GIZ in the Dnepropetrovsk region Mr. Hansjoerg Dietsche. The session was devoted to discussion of the Implementation of European Experience into Regional Planning in Ukraine.
For training monographs and textbooks, revealing the current state of knowledge about the tools of sustainable development, were specially published. Several authors of these publications (M. Schmidt, E. Albrecht, D. Palekhov, V. Y. Shvets, V. Shatokha, M. Savytskyi , L. Palekhova) were the lecturers of the Summer School.
An important part of the program of Summer School were thematic excursions. Of particular interest was visiting a number of scientific and educational laboratories of Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, including the training center, created in cooperation with the firm Vaillant.
Department of Ukrainian Studies showed new approaches in the use of national traditions in modern construction.
Summer School participants visited metallurgical plant Interpipe Steel - the largest electric steel smelting complex in Europe and CIS. During the tour participants learned about innovative steelmaking technologies and activities for the implementation of sustainable development.
Participants, who were trained in the Summer School 2015, received Certificates with 3 ECTS-credits.
Participants of the Summer School 2015 confirmed high usefulness of selected format of the event. The main advantages were noted following:
- relevance and consistency of study materials;
- professionalism in conducting classes;
- intensity of classes and total immersion in a new problematics;
- active forms of learning and discussion of specific problems concerning different levels of management;
- good quality of training materials;
- democratic atmosphere and free discussions.
Discussing the prospects concerning the development of Summer Schools on the subject of sustainable development, the audience noted the need for greater coverage of the target audience and the gradual deepening of topics. It was suggested to inform wider about the upcoming event, including through the Council of Young Scientists in Dnepropetrovsk region.
In turn academic staff of Brandenburg Technical University noted high activity, good professional training of young teachers and researchers, their willingness to expand their knowledge in the field of sustainable development, understanding the need for such knowledge for ‘greening’ educational programs and conducting scientific research on the modern level.
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