Sustainability in Education lobby

Goal

As shown on the Overview Education on Sustainability tab, the TU Delft offers a wide variety of sustainability courses, programs and projects. Generally these are mostly not mandatory, or are only for small groups of students. We believe that all TU Delft students should be equipped with the knowledge and skills to tackle the problems of today and tomorrow.

Sustainability is an essential societal goal, in which TU Delft engineers will play a large (and hopefully positive) role. That’s why the Green Office encourages the TU to provide sufficient knowledge on sustainability to all students, via their core curricula. All BSc and MSc programs run by the TU Delft should incorporate sustainability in relevant and suitable courses, adjusted to the specific area of interest of that program. Additionally, some general principles on sustainability are of such great importance that we feel all TU Delft students should be educated in them. Some examples of topics that fit into this category are highlighted below. After that, we provide our strategy with which we attempt to reach these goals. We finish with a call for action: we can not reach this goal all by ourselves. Are you a TU Delft student, employee or have you recently graduated from the TU Delft and do you want to get involved in our lobby? Contact us!

General principles

Some general sustainability principles all TU Delft students should be educated on are:

  • The UN Sustainable Development Goals

  • The history (fig 2.2, 2.3, 2.6) and theoretical potential of ‘decoupling’ economic growth from environmental impacts

  • Awareness of the limitations of a purely technological orientation to solving complex sustainability challenges

  • Impact of engineers on society and environment (responsibility, contextual awareness, leadership skills)

Program specific

As ethics is now incorporated in all TU Delft programs, we feel sustainability should also be integrated on a program specific level. This can be as part of student projects and as part of all relevant and suitable courses. Depending on the faculty and the program, a customized approach and intervention is required.

Strategy

Direct and indirect strategies are implemented to achieve these goals. The Green Office student board tries to educate the students directly via events, such as lunch lectures, excursions and documentary screenings. Indirect approaches are perhaps more important. These include lobbying, leading new educational initiatives and supporting existing ones, commissioning and conducting original research on campus, and leading by example.

Direct

With the Green Office Student board, we try to educate the students directly via our events. This year, we have been organizing lunch lectures on Living Labs on Campus and Sustainability in Space Exploration. Our previous excursions include Park 2020, the wind park where Delft purchases renewable energy, and the newly renovated Van Gansewinkel/Renewi Waste Handling Facility. We also organize documentary screenings on a wide variety of topics and organise Green Network Drinks to initiate new projects with Delft students and other green and/or student initiatives in and around Delft. More on our events can be found at the Events tab.

Indirect

The most important part of our strategy consists of indirect measures. We support existing initiatives like Green-mE, a group of 3mE students actually re-designing courses in their curriculum incorporating sustainability and want to set up similar student groups from all faculties. We also are in contact with other existing (student) organisations, like the study associations, faculty and central student council(s) and a couple of sustainability oriented professors. Together with TU Delft employees, we want to write a common vision and identify the possibilities within current courses to become more sustainability oriented. This way, all possible viewpoints can be represented in our journey towards more sustainability in Delft education.

Also by doing our own research, we strive to contribute to a more sustainable curriculum for students. The results of our study guide analysis will be published soon, in which we identify  sustainability keywords throughout the course description data from TU Delft. This provides a quantified insight on the current educational situation, and helps to communicate the  many options that are already available for students. These findings also make it possible to form specific strategies, for example initiating an Education Project at the TU Delft Teaching Lab.

As TU Delft, we should lead as an example of sustainable practice for the rest of society. Great examples of great innovations done by students can be found in TU Delft’s famous DreamHall. We as Green Office also set up projects, together with students (as part of their curriculum) to move towards a Circular Campus in 2030, as stated as a goal in the Strategic Framework.

Get involved!

Do you want to get involved in our journey towards a more sustainable curriculum for all TU Delft students? Join our group and let’s take Delft sustainability education to the next level, so that we can continue to educate knowledgeable, skilled ánd relevant engineers and world leaders. Contact us here!