The purpose of this paper is to provide a case study of the establishment and development of a minor program in Sustainable Development in Tongji University, China, and how it contributes to embedding sustainable development into higher education system as an alternative platform for researchers and students to involve in a transdisciplinary teaching and learning process.
This case reviews the institutional setting and the different studying models and requirements for postgraduates and undergraduates. Postgraduate students have to take four core courses, select one module with four themed courses (4 + 4 fixed) and complete a transdisciplinary essay, and undergraduates can choose any three courses in all modules apart from the four core courses (4 + 3 open), with a transdisciplinary group project.
The development of the minor program reveals the popularity and decline of different modules, because of the popularity of the schools and institutes behind them, the university legacy and the media influence. The program design spurs transdisciplinary thinking on sustainable development but brings about challenges including time conflict with students’ major study. In conclusion, this program explores alternative education practices in embedding sustainable development in education system, contributing to and reflect on Education for Sustainable Development and the education reform in China.
The case presents a unique way of implementing Education for Sustainable Development in higher education system, in which minor education stands between formal and informal curriculum to tackle the barriers in undertaking sustainable development initiatives in curricula, through nurturing the culture and providing organizational support.
Funding: This work is funded by Tongji University and the Educational Reform Project on Green Economy by the Ministry of Education of China.
Jia, Q., Wang, Y. and Fengting, L. (2019), "Establishing transdisciplinary minor programme as a way to embed sustainable development into higher education system: Case by Tongji University, China", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 157-169. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-05-2018-0095Download as .RIS
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