Sustainability in Teaching and Learning

  Students in a lecture hall Copyright: © Mario Irrmischer
 

Teaching and Learning – Holistic Education for Future Decision-Makers

Our goal is to make our teaching more sustainable, to anchor the topic of sustainability in all courses of study and to focus more strongly on empowering our learners and instructors to use innovative ideas to drive the development of solutions.

From the Sustainability Mission Statement

 

Sustainability is understood as a central cross-cutting task and is therefore considered in all spheres of action and areas of work at RWTH. Three GreenTeams (teaching and learning, research, and operations) have been established in order to implement the commitment to a more sustainable RWTH in everyday university life, as stipulated in the Sustainability Mission Statement.

Regular meetings open to all university members enable participation in the further process and ensure that the different perspectives are taken into account in the discussions. In addition, the GreenTeams discuss, develop, and define the goals and measures and for the respective areas – teaching and learning, research, operations – with which RWTH is aligning itself more sustainably.

The GreenTeam Teaching is led by Professor Aaron Praktiknjo, Rector's Delegate for Sustainability. You are welcome to register informally by .

More information about the GreenTeams and other participation formats can be found under Participation in the Sustainability Process on the Help Build a Sustainable RWTH page. The GreenTeams resulted from the Sustainability at RWTH Workshop in March 2021.

  Professor Aaron Praktiknjo Copyright: © Martin Braun

It is very important to me personally that our future generations still have the chance to lead a good life that is based on secure foundations – ecologically, economically, and socially. I am happy that we will now pursue this goal together as we follow the vision laid out in our future sustainability mission statement.

Professor Aaron Praktiknjo
Rector's Delegate for Sustainability With a Focus on Teaching and Learning

 

Teaching Award

About

RWTH has been presenting the Teaching Award since 2001 in recognition of outstanding achievements in teaching and learning at the University. In line with the Excellent Teaching & Learning Strategic Concepts, which aims to improve undergraduate teaching at RWTH Aachen University, the Award is intended to promote individuals and projects that are particularly committed to very good and innovative teaching. Outstanding teaching concepts, support of students' learning process, or also a higher-level commitment to teaching are a particular focus.

2021 Special Teaching Award for Sustainability

In 2021, the special Teaching Award for Sustainability was also presented in order to honor the commitment to this topic.

The first Teaching Award in the sustainability category was presented to Professor Carmen Leicht-Scholten from the teaching and research area Gender and Diversity in Engineering. She received this award due to her outstanding and long-standing commitment to teaching sustainable engineering design skills across faculty boundaries.

It should be emphasized that the teaching concepts not only emphasize the teaching of factual knowledge about frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, technology assessment, and the responsibility of prospective scientists, but also and especially include evaluating and reflecting on the use of one's own expertise. 

The second award in the sustainability category was presented to the geography/economic geography department of RWTH Aachen University. The decisive factor for the honor was the long-standing, independent organization of a film and discussion evening on various geographical topics and in particular on the topic of sustainability, a core topic of geography. The events were characterized by a high level of participation on the part of the students and an intensive discussion afterwards.

Sustainability as a Permanent Part

In order to make sustainability a part of the teaching award long-term, this important topic was included in the criteria for the regular teaching award in 2022 and made permanent. In the future, the consideration of ecological, social, and economic sustainability aspects will be taken into account and reviewed for all applications in accordance with the sustainability mission statement.

 

Sustainability in Degree Programs

Many degree programs at RWTH specifically deal with sustainable development in their curriculum, according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. In order to determine the sustainability aspects dealt with in the courses of study at RWTH, the faculties were asked for a self-assessment of their "sustainable degree programs". Since no hard criteria were used, the result is not representative or comparable.

It became clear that all Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda are addressed in the different degree programs at RWTH, with the following SDGs particularly focused upon: 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy, 13 – Climate Action, and 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure.

Below you will find different degree programs categorized according to the SDGs they address. This is not an exhaustive list. Work is currently underway to systematically record how each degree program offered at RWTH addresses sustainability. As soon as this is available, we will provide information here.

 

Courses of study categorized according to Sustainable Development Goals

SDG.1.- End poverty

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Applied Geography M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Economic Geography M.Sc.

SDG 2 – End hunger

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Applied Geography M.Sc.
  • Biology B.Sc.
  • Biology M.Sc.
  • Chemistry M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Medicine
  • Sustainable Management - Water and Energy M.Sc.

SDG 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being

  • Chemistry B.Sc.
  • Chemistry M.Sc.
  • Chemistry M.Ed.
  • Dentistry
  • Biomedical Engineering, M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Management - Water and Energy M.Sc.
  • Logopedics
  • Teaching and Research Logopedics
  • Medicine
  • Urban Planning M.Sc.
  • Architecture B.Sc.
  • Architecture M.Sc.
  • Transforming City Regions M.Sc.

SDG 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education

  • Chemistry B.Sc., Gymnasium and Gesamtschule Teacher
  • Chemistry M.Ed.
  • Dentistry
  • Biomedical Engineering, M.Sc.
  • Logopedics
  • Teaching and Research Logopedics
  • Medicine

SDG 5 – Achieve gender equality

  • Dentistry
  • Biomedical Engineering, M.Sc.
  • Logopedics
  • Teaching and Research Logopedics
  • Medicine

SDG 6 – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation

  • Chemistry M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Management - Water and Energy M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Applied Geophysics M.Sc.
  • Engineering Geohazards M.Sc.
  • Ecotoxicology M.Sc.

SDG 7 – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Chemistry B.Sc., Gymnasium and Gesamtschule Teacher
  • Chemistry M.Ed.
  • Chemistry M.Sc.
  • Chemistry B.Sc.
  • Urban Planning M.Sc.
  • Architecture B.Sc.
  • Architecture M.Sc.
  • Transforming City Regions M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Management - Water and Energy M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Applied Geophysics M.Sc.
  • Engineering Geohazards M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science M.Sc.
  • Electrical Engineering, Information Technology and Computer Engineering M.Sc.
  • Business Administration
    Specialist Area "Sustainability & Corporations" in Business Administration & Business Administration and Engineering M.Sc.

SDG 8 – Full and productive employment and decent work for all

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Business Administration
    Specialty Area "Sustainability & Corporations" in Business Administration & Business Administration and Engineering M.Sc.
  • Economic Geography M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.

SDG 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Economic Geography M.Sc.
  • Chemistry B.Sc., Gymnasium and Gesamtschule Teacher
  • Chemistry M.Ed.
  • Chemistry B.Sc.
  • Civil Engineering B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Engineering Geohazards M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science M.Sc.
  • Business Administration
    Specialty Area "Sustainability & Corporations" in Business Administration & Business Administration and Engineering M.Sc.
  • Biomedical Engineering, M.Sc.
  • Construction Robotics (engl.) M.A.

SDG 10 – Reduce inequality

  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.

SDG 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Applied Geography M.Sc.
  • Economic Geography M.Sc.
  • Urban Planning M.Sc.
  • Architecture B.Sc.
  • Architecture M.Sc.
  • Transforming City Regions M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Management - Water and Energy M.Sc.
  • Civil Engineering B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Engineering Geohazards M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.

SDG 12 – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Economic Geography M.Sc.
  • Chemistry B.Sc., Gymnasium and Gesamtschule Teacher
  • Chemistry M.Ed.
  • Chemistry B.Sc.
  • Chemistry M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy SupplyM.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science M.Sc.
  • Business Administration Specialty Area "Sustainability & Corporations" in Business Administration & Business Administration and Engineering M.Sc.
  • Biomedical Engineering, M.Sc.

SDG 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Applied Geography M.Sc.
  • Economic Geography M.Sc.
  • Chemistry B.Sc., Gymnasium and Gesamtschule Teacher
  • Chemistry M.Ed.
  • Chemistry B.Sc.
  • Urban Planning M.Sc.
  • Architecture B.Sc.
  • Architecture M.Sc.
  • Transforming City Regions M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Engineering Geohazards M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.
  • Materials Science M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Management - Water and Energy M.Sc.
  • Business Administration Specialty Area "Sustainability & Corporations" in Business Administration & Business Administration and Engineering M.Sc.
  • Medicine

SDG 14 – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans

  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.

SDG 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems

  • Applied Geography B.Sc.
  • Applied Geography M.Sc.
  • Economic Geography M.Sc.
  • Chemistry M.Sc.
  • Molecular and Applied Biotechnology B.Sc.
  • Biology B.Sc.
  • Ecotoxicology M.Sc.
  • Biology M.Sc.
  • Molecular and Applied Biotechnology M.Sc.
  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering  M.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences B.Sc.
  • Applied Geosciences M.Sc.
  • Georesources Management B.Sc.
  • Georesources Management M.Sc.
  • Engineering Geohazards M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering  B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering  M.Sc.

SDG 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies

  • Theology and Global Development M.A.

SDG 17 – Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

  • Sustainable Resources and Energy Supply B.Sc.
  • Sustainable Energy Supply M.Sc.
  • Mineral Resources Engineering M.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering B.Sc.
  • Environmental Engineering M.Sc.
  • Biomedical Engineering, M.Sc.