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How the University of Sussex is embedding sustainability assessment into the curriculum


The University of Sussex Business School is committed to integrating the values of social responsibility, ethical practice, and sustainability into curricula, teaching, and research. To enhance this effort, the School was the first British institution to join the TASK™ Change Leader program!

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to enhance our sustainability literacy in pursuing our School's vision and strategy to align our education with the global challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” stated Gabriella Cagliesi, Professor in Economics and former Associate Dean For Education and Students.

Creating momentum

Jean-Christophe Carteron presenting at the Festival of Sust(AI)nable Education

Upon joining the community, and in line with the Sulitest mission to mainstream sustainability literacy, the school quickly analysed its programmes and how it could reach the majority of their students with TASK™. This work was led by Gabriella Cagliesi and Alison Bailey, Senior Lecturer, in collaboration with key teaching and professional services staff. TASK™ was then officially launched at the School during their “Festival of Sust(AI)nable Education”, with Jean-Christophe Carteron, Sulitest’s co-founder, contributing through an insightful  keynote presentation, highlighting the urgency of sustainability literacy and competencies in an era of AI-driven challenges and opportunities.

Moreover, Alison Bailey and Madina Tash, PRME Lead at Sussex, presented this case study at the latest PRME UK & Ireland Conference, alongside our Account Manager, Estela C F Pilz. Additionally, Farai Jena, Associate Dean for Education & Students contributed to the panel organised by Sulitest at the EFMD Annual Conference discussing assessment as a lever for driving positive change. These two occasions, besides bringing visibility to the inspiring initiatives taking place at Sussex, provided a great opportunity to exchange best practices with the academic community.

Strategic deployment

The first year of deployment was focused on raising awareness about TASK™ and setting a foundation for sustainability education, which engaged many of the University of Sussex Business School students. For undergraduate students, TASK™ is offered to first-year, first semester students through the core module “Introduction to Business Management” which incorporates a business simulation through which SDGs must be applied. This enables both the school and the students to establish a baseline of their initial sustainability knowledge level.

For their exit-assessment, the School will include assessments based on completion of TASK™ in a range of core and non-core modules requiring them to reflect and discuss sustainability in different ways, depending on the programme they are following. By adopting this approach, the vast majority of undergraduate students will take TASK™.

At postgraduate level, TASK™ is offered as students prepare for their dissertation through an ethics assessment. TASK™ allows them to reflect and position their research in the context of the global environmental and social challenges.

Scaling impact

Madina Tash, Alison Bailey (Uni. of Sussex) and Estela C F Pilz (Sulitest) present at the PRME UK&Ireland conference

Overall, students at the University of Sussex Business School truly embraced TASK™. At the first stage where only first year undergraduate students were taking the assessment, final year and postgraduate students enquired about it, which encouraged the School to accelerate the roll out of TASK™. By the end of this 2023/24 academic year, 850 students have taken TASK™!

Moreover, the Change Leader commitment encouraged the School to discuss and review the competencies they require their students to achieve, creating momentum to increase their impact in the years to come!

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