The question of the relevance and role of higher education institutions in relation to a changing climate was the key theme for Professor Facer’s tenure. Her inaugural lecture drew upon the growing activities of academic institutions transforming their activities in response to a changing climate. These responses have led to radical reconceptions of the purposes of Higher Education, of the curriculum, of the campus, of the identity of the university itself. 

Throughout Professor Facer’s term, she has continued to both challenge and inspire Uppsala University to develop its approaches to climate change and education in ways that reflect the shifting structures of society in response to the scale of the civilisational and existential climate change challenge. 

A new sustainability curriculum on Campus Gotland 

With partners from SWEDESD, Professor Facer has contributed towards developing sustainability education on Campus Gotland. This work has brought together leading teachers and researchers in the field of sustainability on Campus Gotland in order to develop a world-leading course package that will be open to all students on Campus Gotland in Autumn 2021. These courses will offer participatory, interdisciplinary, collaborative, authentic project based learning activities that develop students’ capacity to understand and act on complex sustainability challenges in the real world. 

Learn more about these courses here:

Internationalisation & Sustainability 

To address the challenge of internationalisation in relation to climate change in the contemporary university, Professor Facer led a workshop bringing together university leadership, students, faculty and administrative staff. This resulted in a widely-spread report identifying key tensions, possibilities, and routes towards achieving more sustainable internationalisation strategies in universities. It combines a short programme of desk research by the CCL team and the creative results of the workshop. 

Future of the Campus 

In collaboration with Akademiska Hus Uppsala, Professor Facer led a futures-thinking workshop to further develop the Campus 2050 project. The goal of the collaboration was to reflect on working with uncertainty in relation to sustainability and address long-term perspectives of campus development.

For more information and links, visit our list of related resources, and our ongoing reflections connected to this theme.