The role of Education Manager is very versatile and fun. Because people’s main goal in university is to get an education, there are a lot of things I can do to steer people in the right direction. I want to make it easy for people to choose sustainable courses for their education. The best time to get this knowledge is while we are young and still in school.
Technology isn’t created in a vacuum. It is created by humans who are part of a society, have morals and personal beliefs. Therefore, I think it is very important that all the maths, algorithms and formulas are accompanied by the right morality so it can be directed towards the most important issues. Then we don’t lose sight of why we are studying what we are studying: to make our society a better place to live.
This is why I created a list of courses that match the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). I want to make it easy for people to choose sustainable courses according to their tastes. I hope that people see this list and think, for example: “that’s interesting, I didn’t know AI could contribute to reducing inequality. I will take this course!”. And I especially hope that people learn new things. I didn’t even know that “sustainability” wasn’t just about the climate before I started studying sustainability! I aim to showcase what our university is doing for societal challenges, and how students can be part of that. Either by taking these courses or by voicing their opinions about the kind of sustainable education they want.
Currently I am also researching how other universities teach their professors about sustainability. Hopefully soon we can implement this teaching at the TU/e so that our professors can pass on the knowledge to the students.
The interesting part about this role is that there is so much to do that I can take it in any direction I want. I am in contact with students, other colleagues within the university, teachers, and all sorts of staff from other universities. Because education is embedded everywhere I work with Koen (our Strategic Manager), who helps shape our sustainability vision within the university, but also on my own, with my other Go Green Office colleagues and with the Sustainable Core Team. I get inspiration from everyone: within the university, within the Netherlands and even from other European institutions!
My recommendation for a course that every engineer should take in their bachelor is Sustainable technology in society (0SV10) in Q2. It teaches us about the morality of technology, how technology is not neutral, and that society and technology are deeply intertwined. This course gave me a new 3D perspective on what “technology” is. Once we understand that technology and society shape each other, we can make better decisions regarding our technological choices. And if you’re thinking “but what even is sustainability?”, Sustainable development in a global context (0SV00) in Q1 is an excellent crash course.
Do you have any ideas on how to make education more sustainable, comments or questions? Email me at email@example.com!