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UCU climate and sustainability CPD offering

10 February 2022

UCU's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme is available to all members of the union. Since April 2020 online interactive workshops focused on climate and sustainability have been offered on a number of subjects.

By March 2021 over 650 UCU members had taken part in the workshops, which aim to help members improve their professional practice and to review and improve climate awareness in their institution.

In the summer term 2021, the latter two workshops listed below were added to the offer:

Overviews of these CPD workshops are below, including dates and sign up links for the latest opportunities to get involved.

If you would like any of these delivered for your branch, please get in touch with the CPD team:

Introduction to sustainability

Introduction to Sustainability is the first in a series of webinars on UCU's response to the climate crisis.

Learning aims:

  1. understand student demand for sustainability and climate education
  2. explore the meaning of sustainability
  3. make the connection between sustainability and climate education
  4. understand the relevant frameworks defining sustainability, and how to apply them.

Embedding climate education in the curriculum

Embedding climate education in the curriculum is the second in a series of our webinars on the climate crisis, and how we can play our part in resisting it.

To take part in this webinar you do not need to have completed the Introduction to Sustainability session, though you might find that useful too.  This webinar will look at detailed examples of how UCU members are incorporating climate education in their classroom practice in a way which we hope you will find exciting and empowering. 

Learning aims:

  1. understand why sustainability issues are so important to students and UCU members
  2. explore how sustainability issues have been incorporated into a range of learning programmes
  3. reflect on how to amend your own practice
  4. consider how you could use your experience to support other UCU members around sustainability issues.

Decarbonise and decolonise your institution

Decarbonise and decolonise your Institution is the third in a series of our webinars on the climate crisis, and how we can play our part in resisting it. Building on existing CPD workshops 'Introduction to climate education' and 'Embedding climate education in the curriculum', SOS-UK have developed for UCU a ' Decarbonise and decolonise' workshop to introduce members to the interconnectivity of these two agendas and identify opportunities to take action.

To take part in this webinar you do not need to have completed the previous sessions.  This workshop will give an overview of climate justice, and how this links to the concepts of "decolonising" and "decarbonising" as the structural and systemic roots of the human-induced climate crisis. We will explore examples of climate injustice, and how this often intersects with issues like race, gender, class and indigeneity. We will also look at examples of when sustainability actions and initiatives have not taken an intersectional approach, with discussions on how we can avoid this in education to create sustainability activities that recognise and work to challenge the harmful legacies of colonialism and imperialism.

Learning aims:

  1. provide an introductory understanding of climate justice and its connection with decolonising and decarbonising
  2. support participants to identify opportunities to apply decolonising and decarbonising for climate justice to the education sector
  3. encourage participants to develop their own practice to consider climate justice and intersectionality
  4. explore the role of UCU branches and members in mobilising action for decolonising and decarbonising.

Contact UCU CPD team to request this workshop for your branch:

Running climate learning events

Running climate learning events is the fourth in a series of our webinars on the climate crisis, and how we can play our part in addressing it. Building on existing CPD workshops 'Introduction to climate education' and 'Embedding climate education in the curriculum', SOS-UK have developed this workshop for UCU to support members in taking action within their own institutions in the build up to COP26.

 To take part in this webinar you do not need to have completed the previous sessions.  This workshop will share examples of similar initiatives, promote idea-sharing amongst members and sign-post you to resources and opportunities to help you run a climate learning event at your institution. So if you want to encourage colleagues across your institution to take part in climate a climate crisis awareness day or week please join us and we will show you how.

Learning aims:

  1. understand how to involve and engage allies including colleagues and students, in helping to run the climate-themed learning events
  2. know what UCU resources are available, and how to add to them
  3. explore specific resources and consider how they could be adapted to support local initiatives.

Contact UCU CPD team to request this workshop for your branch:

New for 2022: Democratising education - UCU Green New Deal

This interactive workshop will explore the vision for democratising education as part of progressing a Green New Deal in education institutions. The focus will be on why and how branch members can build for power to organise and campaign for democratic governance structures with a view to ensuring fair and just practices and decision making.

The first half of the session will explore what a truly democratic education institution would look and feel like and why this is an essential component if we are going to address the climate crisis. The second half will focus on how members can get involved in helping local branches to use the GND bargaining and negotiation framework to democratise their institutions.  

Learning aims:.

  1. understand the meaning of democratising education 
  2. realise the interconnection between democratising education and the climate crisis 
  3. be able to communicate with branch members and the student movement on democratising education to progress the UCU Green New Deal 
  4. gain an awareness of what others are doing to democratise education.
Last updated: 3 May 2023