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NUS Scotland Vice President Jodie Waite on the #SDGTeachIn

NUS Scotland Vice President (Education) Jodie Waite supports the #SDGTeachIn in this blog considering the role of sustainability in education. 

As an MSc Green Economy student at Bournemouth University, my personal interest in sustainability extends to my role as Vice President for Education at NUS Scotland. We are all global citizens and we must think like global citizens, but so many curriculums in Further and Higher Education fail to recognise this in their content.

As the world has become smaller through globalisation and technology, any choice we make locally has a worldwide impact. However, our awareness of this is often very limited, because the topic of global sustainability is usually only taught in fields that appear to have an obvious link. If you study business, you will very often learn about ethical consumerism, or if you study environmental science, you will probably learn about the impact that water pollution has on marine life. However, if you study construction, how often are you taught about a loss of biodiversity due to land-clearing for a new building? If you study nursing, how often are you taught about access to healthcare in other countries?

It�s not often that we�re encouraged to think about how widely felt our day-to-day actions are, but students are the leaders of the future, so we need to make sure that they are aware of their role in the global environment now, to benefit society in future. It may seem irrelevant that hairdressing lecturers start teaching students about the importance of using ethically-sourced products, but when these students become successful in their field, their ethical purchasing will help to preserve the Earth�s natural resources whilst encouraging the fair treatment of workers who have made the products.

This is why educators in Scotland should pledge to get involved with #SDGTeachIn. Integrating SDGs into the curriculum ensures that all students are taught about the importance of sustainability. Only when we all become aware of our global role can we all take measures to positively contribute to global society. After all, the future that is on the line is ours.