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Sustainable development in education

Strategies and guidelines for sustainability in education

The Policy for Sustainable Development is the basis for the University’s work on environmental issues and sustainability. The policy states the University’s ambition to be a driving force for sustainable development and to set the course for our approach to sustainability in general. In the field of education, the policy specifies that all students are to acquire subject-relevant knowledge of sustainable development through their education and training, which they can take with them into working life.

Read more about the Policy for Sustainable Development –

Visions for education and student participation:

  • All students acquire knowledge and understanding of sustainable development and how their programmes relate to this, and thereby contribute expertise in their future roles in society.
  • Continuing professional development within sustainable development is provided for all employees at Lund University.
  • The University supports student initiatives in sustainable development and there are opportunities for students to participate in efforts to achieve the goals of the strategy.

    Read more about Visions for sustainable development –

The Sustainability Plan includes six goals that focus on education for sustainability, with seven associated activities. The goals and activities cover first, second and third-cycle education. The Sustainability Plan was revised in 2022 (the first version had three objectives focusing on education) and will be revised again in 2024. 

Sustainability Plan Lund University 2020-2026, revised 2023 (PDF 3,8 MB, new tab)

Lund University has adopted a policy for quality assurance and quality development of education with eleven criteria focused on education, one of which focuses on sustainable development specifically: Subject-relevant perspectives regarding sustainable development are to be promoted in education. This is followed up annually.

Policy for quality assurance and quality enhancement of education at Lund University (PDF, 230 kB, new tab, in Swedish)

Lund University's courses and study programmes are to meet the needs that emerge as society changes. While education and training programmes must be adaptable and flexible, they must also be sustainable in terms of content, both in terms of applying sustainability perspectives and by building on core subject knowledge and transferable skills. Knowledge, education and training help to provide a firm existential foundation that equips us for social change and transformation and as such, education is a part of existential sustainability. 

Lund University’s strategy for first and second-cycle education for 2023-2024 (PDF, 306kB, new tab)

Sustainability Forum

Lund University's Sustainability Forum task is to “stimulate and encourage the integration of sustainability aspects in education at all levels and stimulate the development of new educational initiatives focused on sustainability.”

In 2021, the Sustainability Forum got its first education coordinator who supports the work on education for sustainable development. Please contact the Sustainability Forum for more information.

This initiative is coordinated by the Lund University Sustainability Forum, together with the Division of Higher Education Development and the Centre for Engineering Education. The initiative provides opportunities to share experiences, take part in inspiring events, and to access other resources on teaching for sustainability.

Teaching for Sustainability –

Courses on sustainability in education

Introductory course with no particular focus on education for anyone who wants to learn more about sustainability, including teaching staff who want to include sustainability in their teaching.

  • Format/institution responsible: MOOC, Faculty of Science
  • Duration: 19 hours
  • Access: Global, unlimited participants


For anyone who wants to learn more about sustainability and governance, including teaching staff who want to include sustainability in their teaching. The course is offered during the spring term.

  • Format/institution responsible: Online course, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Duration: 12 hours of seminars plus 3-day workshop
  • Access: For doctoral students (priority is given to the Development Research School), postdocs and other staff subject to availability.


It is possible to attend individual seminars. Free of charge, although a fee is payable if you wish to be assessed. The content will be changed for the next time the course runs in the autumn 2023 semester. Information and materials from previous years’ seminar series are available on the AHU website.

  • Format/institution responsible: Seminars, AHU
  • Duration: 12 hours of seminars, 40 hours in total
  • Access: Teaching staff (Also open to other staff at LU and staff of other universities/higher education institutions subject to availability)

The course is delivered via Canvas. The course is also available as a compendium with self-study material.

  • Format/institution responsible: Online course, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies
  • Duration: 10-15 hours
  • Access: LU, unlimited participants


Focus on learning for sustainability/teaching and learning. More information about the course can be found on the Faculty of Science website. Available as a shorter or longer version according to demand.

  • Format/institution responsible: Workshops, Faculty of Science
  • Duration: 12 hours of workshops (short version)
  • Access: LU (focused on the Faculty of Science. Also open to other faculties, subject to availability and payment of a fee).

Next course spring semester 2024. More information about the course can be found on the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) website. 

  • Format/institution responsible: Seminars, LTH
  • Duration: 80 hours, including 12 hours of seminars
  • Access: Priority for LTH teachers but open to other faculties subject to availability.

Next course spring semester 2025. More information about the course can be found on the Karlstad University website. 

  • Format/institution responsible: Online course, facilitated by the Sustainability Forum and AHU from spring semester 2024 onwards
  • Duration: 80 hours, of which 40 hours are lectures
  • Access: Preference is given to partner universities for about 6 participants per partner per semester.



Terese Thoni
Educational coordinator, Sustainability Forum
terese [dot] thoni [at] cec [dot] lu [dot] se (terese[dot]thoni[at]cec[dot]lu[dot]se)

Related information

UNESCO’s work on education for sustainable development

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has long focused on education for sustainable development, including in the framework of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014.

The latest roadmap is the Education for Sustainable Development: A Roadmap - ESD for 2030

The roadmap sets the direction of the organisation for the period 2020-2030.

Higher Education Act (1992:1434) Chapter 1, Section 5

“In the course of their operations, higher education institutions shall promote sustainable development to assure for present and future generations a sound and healthy environment, economic and social welfare, and justice.”

U21 Educational Innovation Symposium 2022

Lund University hosted the U21 Symposium on Education for Sustainable Development on 16-17 February 2022. Recordings of the event are available on the Symposium’s website.