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Anna Sarah Krämer

COAST - Zentrum für Umwelt- und Nachhaltigkeitsforschung

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Sustainability in Programs and Teaching

The university's responsibility includes recognising the effects of its actions on the environment, society and the economy and incorporating the topic of sustainable development into its teaching.

In doing so, Carl von Ossietzky University emphatically relies on an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability issues as well as on the transfer of knowledge between business and science. Sustainability topics are not only taught in an up-to-date and well-founded manner in relevant Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes, such as the Master's degree programme "Sustainability Economics and Management", but also in teacher training and medical studies as well as in continuing education programmes.

Student numbers Sustainability

The university offers nine degree programmes in the field of sustainability. In addition to the Bachelor's degree programmes in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability Economics, these include the degree programmes in the "Environment and Sustainability" Master's cluster. Since the winter semester 2015/2016, the number of students in these study programmes has increased by 17% to 1,193 students. This means that a total of 7.34% of the students at Oldenburg University are studying in a degree programme with an explicit reference to sustainability. In the winter semester 2015/16, the percentage was still 5.85%. The data does not include degree programmes in which students can integrate sustainability-related courses. These degree programmes include, for example, Engineering Physics, in which the focus on renewable energies can be selected, or Business Information Systems, in which operational environmental information systems are a focus. Thus, the actual proportion of students with a sustainability focus is much higher.

Sustainability in teaching

The University of Oldenburg also focuses on environmental and sustainability issues in its teaching outside of the above-mentioned sustainability study programmes. In teacher training, it focuses on the integration of environmental and sustainability aspects in the training and further education of future teachers. As one of 17 Sustainable Development Goals pursued worldwide, teaching is dedicated to health care. Since 2012, the University of Oldenburg has offered a new internationally oriented degree programme in human medicine.

Further training offers from the C3L on sustainable development

Sustainability has played a central role in the C3L - Center for Lifelong Learning sustainability has had a central place for years. While individual modules deal specifically with the (operational) field of action of sustainability management (as in the Bachelor's programme in Business Administration in small and medium-sized enterprises and in the Master's programme in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship), the topic has also found its way into many other modules: Aspects such as climate change and social responsibility are taken up, but also organisational change and business model development are considered from a sustainability perspective.

Extracurricular courses related to climate change

The university not only takes its educational mission towards students very seriously, but also makes a significant contribution to informing the general public in the form of conferences, lectures and exhibitions. In doing so, it works closely with partners such as the Smart House, the Jade University of Applied Sciences and Oldenburg schools. Thus, various extracurricular events have been created during the reporting period. Some examples are

  • Discussion evening: "Our common future(s)?
  • Lecture: "Where does Oldenburg stand in climate protection - an interim assessment",
  • KinderUni lecture: "Why East Frisia is a bathtub - and how we keep our feet dry".

The AStA also regularly holds sustainability-related events. For example, every year there is a sustainability week with workshops and lectures, and the Asta also organised a discussion evening on the topic of criticising political ecology and a series of lectures on the topic of energy and the change in transport. Together with the local initiative Students For Future, the Climate Strike Week was realised for the first time in 2019.

In 2019, the Scientists for Future group organised the series "Doubt - Recognise - Act: Science in Responsibility" with lectures and discussions on the topic of the climate crisis.

(Changed: 2021-07-28)