Among the key constituencies of a sustainable university is curriculum, that need to be changed in accordance to the principles of sustainability. Curriculum change can be perceived as an evolving transformative learning process that requires the engagement of a significant portion of the faculty, students, administration and other stakeholders. Changing the curriculum and pedagogy is the most important strategy higher education institutions can use to ensure that all students acquire the competences needed in building a more sustainable future. Transforming university curricula towards sustainability is defined as a process that integrates ecological integrity, social and economic justice and human wellbeing into course content and instructional methodologies.
What is thus needed is a curriculum that prepares learners for living together sustainably and helps students deeply understand the interactions, inter-connections and the consequences of their actions. Regardless of the subject of the curriculum, students must learn to see the world and themselves in this world as a whole and be able to apply such thinking to real-life situations. They also need to learn how to reflect critically on their values, perceptions and actions and to consider what sustainability means to them and the place in which they live and work. Such a need demands the competence of envisioning alternative ways of thinking and living, learning how to negotiate and justify althernative choices, and actiing personally and socially for transformating unsustainable actions. All these require significant changes in the curriculum and the pedagogy used to deliver that curriculum. These changes will only occur when university staff have the required understanding, knowledge, skills, resources, support, incentives, and commitment to change what and how they teach.
To advance such goals, a curriculum reoriented towards sustainability would place the notion of critical and active citizenship among its primary objectives. This would require a revision of many existing curricula and the development of objectives and content themes as well as suitable teaching, learning and assessment processes. Viewing education for sustainability as a contribution to a politically literate society is central to the reformulation of education and calls for a ‘new generation’ of theorizing and practice in education and a rethinking of many familiar approaches. The RUCAS research survey has documented that curriculum reforms are mostly based on disciplinary and compartmentalised knowledge, leading to a narrow teaching methodology and an overloaded curriculum that is often disassociated from real-life situations (Makrakis & Kostoulas, 2012abc). Successful curriculum reorienting towards sustainable development requires at least two major structural reforms in higher education. The first is to re-examine the role and function of higher education institutions and the second is to re-structure their curricula to meet the demands for sustainability. Go to the reading resources and explore the perceived role of higher education in light of the sustainability crisis. However, it is worth pointing out that large-scale curricular change doesn’t happen overnight as it is associated with the way curriculum is perceived and practiced.