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The Courses

A publication by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research states: "Sustainability as an overriding theme must become an obligatory part of all courses if the global challenges of the future are to be faced."

This demand is ambitious when it is compared with the actual situation on the ground. However, in the last few years a substantial number of courses have emerged which deal with the subject of sustainable development. The aim of our data bank is to outline this range of courses systematically and informatively. It covers all the important opportunities for studying sustainability in the entire German tertiary education sector.

But what are courses on "sustainability"? There is no clear definition of the term and therefore the selection criteria were left to the discretion of each individual institution. This self-assessment was complemented by an external assessment of The Courses submitted to the editors. In this the basic principles of sustainable development served as guidelines: integration of ecological, economic and social objectives and perspectives, participation and justice.

The Guide divides courses involving sustainability into groups:

1) Courses dealing expressly with sustainability: courses which expressly and comprehensively cover the field of sustainable development in their profile or deal with key aspects of sustainability.

2) Courses focusing on sustainability: in this case aspects of sustainable development are covered by options, thematic focus of courses, opportunities for specialisation, modules etc.

3) Individual classes dealing with sustainability: courses in which only individual classes show links with sustainability.

The data bank ultimately provides information on over 300 courses and other related facilities involving sustainability. These include over 260 courses which expressly and comprehensively deal with sustainability or offer a thematic focus on sustainability. We estimate that The Guide thus covers over 90% of The Courses involving sustainability in Germany.

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Last update: 11/30/2009