In the winter semester 2021/22, the University of Friborg will launch the “Certificate of Sustainability: Interdisciplinary, Reflective, Practical” – a voluntary course for students of all disciplines. In seminars, conferences and practical courses, they can deal with sustainability issues in an interdisciplinary way and receive up to 14 ECTS credits for this. “Joint and interdisciplinary reflection and action are essential to strengthen sustainable development both scientifically and practically – with the certificate we also want to integrate it into our teaching”, explains Professor Michael Schwarze, Vice President of Business academic.
Online Public Lecture Series
A central element of the program is the online series “Everything in View? Interdisciplinary Sustainability Lecture Series’, which runs throughout the semester and is also open to the public. In this series, researchers from Freiburg provide insight into different areas of sustainability. The first lecture will be given by Prof. Dr. Daniela Kleinschmit, Vice President for Internationalization and Sustainability at the University of Friborg and Lora Guyzeleva, Head of Sustainability at the University on October 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. They will speak on the “Speech on Sustainability in Transition” as well as on sustainability projects at the University.
The series will continue every week, always on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Other topics include “Green chemistry, sustainable pharmacy”, “Using ecosystems between demand and reality” or “Governance for sustainability”. Some of the conferences will be held in tandem, with two experts from different disciplines speaking on a topic from their respective perspective. For example, Professor Hans-Martin Henning, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, with the topic “Pathways to a climate-neutral energy supply” meets Dr. Philipp Späth and his question “Is- what the turnaround at the energy policy fair? And on the topic of economics and climate change, Prof. Dr. Lars Feld, Director of the Walter Eucken Institut in Friborg, will present “Economic paths to effective climate protection”, while Prof. Dr. Nina Degele from the ‘Institute of Sociology offer a critical perspective of capitalism on the externalization of social and environmental costs to the economic system.
“Fundamental Approaches to Research for Sustainable Development”.
In the winter semester, students can also participate in the basic course “Sustainability – Interdisciplinary and Reflective”. Students from different disciplines will come together in interdisciplinary groups to collaborate on regional sustainability challenges. In particular, the active participation and collaboration of the participants is in the foreground. Among other things, participants develop their own visions of sustainable development, learn methods to promote interdisciplinary group work and strengthen their reflexivity, for example by questioning personal and scientific assumptions. “These are fundamental research approaches for sustainable development,” says Prof. Daniela Kleinschmit, Vice-President for Internationalization and Sustainability at the University of Friborg. “Here, students learn to link their different subject perspectives and jointly develop interdisciplinary solution strategies.”
The initiative came from the “Sustainability Office” of the University of Friborg
The sustainability certificate and course offering were developed on the initiative of the Student Sustainability Office, jointly by the Center for Key Qualifications, the Office of Safety, Environment and Sustainability and a council advisory of the program composed of scientific experts from the faculties and student representatives. The student representation of the University of Friborg (StuRa) is funding the project. “Almost all faculties participate in the certificate program with contributions – this has never happened before at the university”, explain Dr Jürgen Steck, project manager and head of the office for safety, environment and sustainability, and Verena Saller from the Center for Key Qualifications, who are co-managing the project.
“It’s great to see the Sustainability Certificate taking off at the University of Friborg, turning an idea that a few dedicated students started pursuing almost four years ago into a reality,” says Paulina Aue on behalf of from the initiative of the Friborg sustainable development office. . “Our goal was to give all students, regardless of department, the opportunity to face future issues and sustainability challenges as part of their studies.”
The website “Sustainability Certificate” (in German)
Photo: Harald Neumann / University of Friborg