By invitation of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), New Delhi (India), Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann participated in the side event „Mainstreaming SDG 4.7 in Schooling: The State of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship” during the UNESCO General Conference on November 2, 2017 in Paris (France). The new MGIEP study „The State of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in Asia” was presented at the event. Marco Rieckmann, main author of the UNESCO publication „Education for Sustainable Development Goals. Learning Objectives“, was invited to give a short lecture at the side event with reference to the new MGIEP study entitled „Is mainstreaming SDG 4.7 into formal education possible without embedding it into core subjects?”.
Global Environment Outlook 6 Report published [2019/03]
In March 2019, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) published its sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO 6) report. The report provides up-to-date information on global challenges to (environmentally) sustainable development and calls on decision makers to take immediate action to address pressing environmental issues to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as other Internationally Agreed Environment Goals, such as the Paris Agreement. Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann has contributed to the GEO 6 report as an author on the cross-cutting issue of education. Chapter 4.2.4 of the report deals with Education for Sustainable Development and highlights its importance for achieving the SDGs. To the report
New project "SDGs Labs - Making the SDGs our business" started [2019/01]
The project "SDGs Labs - Making the SDGs our business" started on January 1, 2019. The aim of the project is to promote and provide scientific support for the practical application of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the agricultural and food sector in various European regions. To this end, the integration of the SDGs into business (higher) education and the organisational development and everyday business practices of companies in the agri-food sector will be supported. Innovative formats and methods for innovation development (SDGs Innovation Labs) and cooperation between universities and companies (SDGs Co-Learning Labs) will be used. The different regions with their specific challenges are to find approaches in order to contribute to the sustainability of the agricultural and food industry.
SDGs Labs is funded by the EU within the framework of the ERASMUS+ Knowledge Alliances programme with a total of around 960,000 euros for three years (of which around 220,000 euros go to the University of Vechta). It is coordinated by the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Other partners in the joint project are universities and companies from four European countries: Germany, Italy, Austria and Portugal.
On the part of the University of Vechta, the project is carried out jointly by the Department of Higher Education Development and the “Coordination centre for transformation of regions with intensive agriculture”. The Wiesenhof company from the region will also be involved in the project, as will other companies and associations from the sector.
From January 17-18, 2019 a kick-off meeting with all partners from the four European countries took place at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Project members from the Vechta/ Oldenburger Münsterland region also took part in the meeting: Dr. Ingo Stryck (Managing Director Marketing) participated as representative of Wiesenhof; from the University of Vechta Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann, Dr. Christian Meyer, Lukas Scherak and Larissa Jaeger attended the meeting. project website
New project on climate protection measures [2018/12]
In January 2019 a new project starts at the University of Vechta: "TeRRIFICA - Territorial RRI Fostering Innovative Climate Action" will deal with climate protection measures. Communication strategies, formats and methods for climate protection will be tested in six pilot regions in Germany, France, Poland, Serbia, Spain and Belarus. Cooperation with various stakeholder groups, in particular regional authorities and political decision-makers, is planned.
TeRRIFICA is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme with around 2 million euros for three and a half years. The lead partner is the Science Shop Bonn. The educational researcher Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann (Higher Education Development), the Science Shop Vechta / Cloppenburg and the Coordination Office Transformation Science agrar are involved at the University of Vechta.
UNESCO honours sustainability initiatives of the University of Vechta - Two projects from the Department of Education receive an award [2018/11]
The project "Sustainability at Universities: develop - network - report" (HOCH-N), in which the University of Vechta is involved, and the "German-language Network for Teacher Education for Sustainable Development" (LeNa), coordinated by Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann of the University of Vechta, have received awards in the context of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) "Education for Sustainable Development". The German UNESCO Commission awarded HOCH-N and LeNa as networks on 28 November 2018: HOCH-N was awarded for the promotion of sustainable development in all central structures and fields of action of the member universities. LeNa was honoured for its outstanding work in structurally implementing Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Germany.
Since 2016, the HOCH-N project has built up a nationwide network of universities that are committed to the sustainable development of their institutions. In the meantime, more than 100 universities have joined the network. HOCH-N is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with 5 million euros. The University of Vechta is represented in the joint project HOCH-N by Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann (Department of Education, Higher Education Development group) and his team.
The vision of LeNa is a comprehensive integration of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into teacher education. LeNa is an international network with members from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It sees itself as a network of experts in which representatives of universities and other institutions of pre-service and in-service teacher training who deal with the integration of ESD into teacher education come together. Since 2017, Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann from the University of Vechta (Department of Education, Higher Education Development group) has been the network's president.
Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann: "The University of Vechta has been committed to sustainable development for several years now and adopted its own sustainability guidelines in 2017. In this context, the University is actively involved in various national and international sustainability networks. That is why I am particularly pleased that the commitment of HOCH-N and LeNa is recognized."
The awards for outstanding learning locations, networks and municipalities are a contribution to the national implementation of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) "Education for Sustainable Development" and the United Nations Agenda 2030 to ensure sustainable development at the economic, social and ecological levels. The awards are presented by a jury comprising members of the "National Platform Education for Sustainable Development" as well as representatives of the BMBF, Freie Universität Berlin, and the German UNESCO Commission. A total of 32 learning locations, 43 networks, and 6 municipalities were honored for their outstanding commitment to education for sustainable development on November 28 in Bonn.
Project "Sustainability at universities (HOCH-N): develop - network - report" will continue to be funded [2018/11]
The joint project "Sustainability at universities: develop - network - report" (HOCH-N) has been extended by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for a further two years until the end of October 2020. The Vechta education scientist Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann and his team are working together with colleagues from the FU Berlin in the cross-sectional area of governance, analysing the conditions for success, institutional mechanisms and concrete measures for the implementation of sustainability at universities. In the second project phase, which is now beginning, the practical implementation of university sustainability activities will also be promoted: For example, a sustainability report is to be written and published for the first time at the University of Vechta. In the overall project, eleven German universities are working together in the fields of sustainability reporting, governance, teaching, research, operation and transfer. The aim is to promote sustainable development at universities and to network the German higher education landscape in this context. The total funding amount is 2.5 million euros. The University of Hamburg is responsible for management and coordination of the overall project.
New project on ESD teaching competencies [2018/09]
"A Rounder Sense of Purpose II: educator competences for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)" (RSPII) is a collaborative project that Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann is carrying out together with partners from seven countries. The aim of the project is to bundle and concretize the 39 competencies of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) defined by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and thus to make them more tangible for the practical work of experts in youth work, schools and universities. The aim is to include the ESD educator competencies in national curricula for the training of pedagogical specialists and teachers.
In this second phase of the project, the concepts developed in a first phase will be tested in other countries, which were not yet involved in the first phase of the project, and they will be disseminated via national networks, e.g. in the fields of youth work and teacher education. At the University of Vechta, ESD competencies are to be integrated, among other activities, into the academic training programme for university teachers.
RSP II will be funded by the EU ERASMUS+ programme with about 380000 euros until 2020. The project is coordinated by the University of Gloucestershire (UK).
University of Vechta becomes first partner university in the HOCH-N network [2018/08]
Since 2016, the University of Vechta has been working on the joint project "Sustainability at Universities (HOCH-N): develop - network - report". Together with colleagues from Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann and his team are researching governance mechanisms for the implementation of sustainability processes and principles at the participating universities in a work package of HOCH-N. One overarching goal of the joint project is to establish a nationwide network of universities dedicated to sustainable university development. The University of Vechta has now become a partner university in this network. This makes it the first university to receive this status. More information (in German) / To the profile on the HOCH-N network map
Results of the CASE Project online [2017/12]
The EU project CASE (Competencies for a sustainable socio-economic development) has been promoting sustainabililty-related competencies since 2015. The exchange between science and business partners has generated new knowledge for sustainable development and developed innovative forms of teaching and learning in which students can cooperate with partners from practice. The results of the project are now accessible via the CASE Knowledge Platform and a CASE-Video Playlist on Youtube. CASE is a project funded by the European Commission as an „Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance“ (2015-2017). Ten universities and business partners from five European countries have collaborated in this knowledge alliance, including the University of Vechta, represented by the "Higher Education Development" group of the Department of Education.
Final event of the CASE project [2017/11]
On November, 9 2017 the final event of the project "Competencies for A sustainable Socio Economic development" (CASE) (funded by EU Erasmus+ / Knowledge Alliances-Sector Skills Alliances) took place at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The "Higher Education Development" group of the Department of Education of the University of Vechta is also involved in this project. Here you can get an insight into the final event.
Rieckmann as guest at a Side Event of the UNESCO General Conference [2017/11]
Rieckmann as expert at the G7 Side Event "Universities for Sustainable Development" in Bologna [2017/06]
By invitation of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMBU), Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann (Faculty I – Education and Social Sciences, Department of Education, "Higher Education Development" group) took part in events at the G7 Environment Ministers Meeting in Bologna (Italy) from 10 to 11 June 2017. He represented Germany at the Side Event "Universities for Sustainable Development“ together with Prof. Dr. Mario Schmidt (Hochschule Pforzheim) on June 11, 2017.
UNESCO document "Education for Sustainable Development Goals. Learning Objectives" published [2017/03]
At the beginning of March 2017, UNESCO published the document "Education for Sustainable Development Goals. Learning Objectives" . It explains how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): firstly by promoting sustainability competencies and secondly by acquiring cognitive, socio-emotional and action-related learning outcomes that enable individuals to deal with the specific challenges of each individual SDG and promote its implementation. While the promotion of ESD is an essential objective of SDG 4, it is also of great importance for all other 16 SDGs. Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann, Lisa Mindt and Senan Gardiner are the main authors of this new UNESCO document.
Cooperation project with Ecuador and Colombia extended until 2020 [2016/12]
Since 2014, the University of Vechta has been cooperating with the Universidad Técnica del Norte (UTN, Ecuador) and the Universidad de Antioquia (UdeA, Colombia). Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann coordinates this cooperation, which deals with the development and implementation of competence-based teaching and learning at the two Latin American partner universities. This cooperation is now being continued with a follow-up project entitled “Development and Implementation of a Master’s Programme ‘Competence-based Higher Education’”. The project is financed with 230,000 euros by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) until 2020. The aim of the new project is to introduce a Master's programme at the two partner universities, in which Ecuadorian and Colombian University teachers in particular can further develop their didactic and methodological competencies for the implementation of competence-based teaching. The Master's programme will be developed jointly by researchers from the University of Vechta and colleagues from the respective partner university. As usual, the project will continue to provide for an exchange of teachers and students.
Mentoring-Visit in the Project „Enhancing Responsible Research and Innovation through Curricula in Higher Education“ [2016/12]
Within the framework of the EU-funded EnRRICH project, project manager Jozefien de Marrée (Frije Universiteit Brussel) visited the University of Vechta and the Science Shop Vechta/Cloppenburg from 13-15 December 2016. During the visit, opportunities and difficulties of the Science Shop Vechta/Cloppenburg were discussed and methods for linking science and society of both partners were exchanged.
The "Higher Education Development" group is a partner in the Joint Project "Sustainability at Universities" [2016/11]
How can processes for developing (implementing and establishing) sustainability be anchored at German universities? And how can the sustainability reporting of German universities be professionalized? These questions are the subject of a new joint project in which the "Higher Education Development" group of the Department of Education at the University of Vechta is involved: „Sustainability at Universities (HOCH-N): develop - network - report“ is the title of the project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The HOCH-N Project will be funded for two years (November 2016 - October 2018) with a sum of around 2.5 million euros, of which around 120,000 euros will go to the University of Vechta.