About the Module
The Module Sustain4EU is a teaching programme establishing the academic Hub dedicated to: a) enhancing the awareness of EU challenges referring to deterioration of social and natural environments due to the lack of responsible behaviour performances on all societal levels; b) promoting the role of EU citizens in mitigating those challenges and contributing to the social cohesion and environmental sustainability
The title of the Module reflects the underlying purpose of the activities – activating a sustainable behaviour on the individual level that will enable sustainability for the EU. The main motto is:
Learning: offering up-to-date knowledge, open access teaching materials, research inventories by enabling co-creative knowledge production between academia, stakeholders and students
Acting: enhancing action research related to sustainability issues and the EU civic practices by transferring the theory and knowledge into practice through students’ research activities, thus promoting civic engagement
Bridging: offering opportunities to share experiences and knowledge between academia, students and other stakeholders, and connecting them in addressing sustainability issues by organising more active social collaboration on a local and transnational European level
It complies with the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development of UNOs, and it deals with the issue of responsibility in terms of individual, social and environmental sustainability values and behaviour. It takes carefully into account the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, where it is stated that education has a vital role in promoting “better understanding of the aim of sustainable development, fostering a sense of individual and collective responsibility, and thereby encouraging changes in behaviour” (p.8). Sustain4EU also consider the needs of national environment, where such activities are recognised as crucial (in Slovenia Development Strategy 2030).
The Module addresses sustainability as the multidimensional concept, and thus, it considers the key challenges and opportunities for education playing a vital role in promoting sustainable lifestyles for EU citizens. It complies with the strategic ideas of the Europe 2030, while taking into account interdisciplinary knowledge of relevant environmental, social and economic issues. The module especially aims to empower individuals by equipping them with specific competencies for tackling sustainability challenges in their everyday lives. Sustainability is addressed also in relation to social inclusion and citizenship, which are both a key issue in education and training systems (referring to the EU Priorities on Education and Training Post 2020; European education and training expert panel 2019).
The module activities are also directly linked to the recent studies in social science emphasizing the role of social relations and reflexivity (cf. Archer/Donati 2015 - Relational Subject) enabling to produce common goods and ensuring more cohesive, inclusive and sustainable environment, but with special attention to individuals’ personal development, skills and competences crucial to adapt to market needs, employment demands and contemporary risks. It is based on the existing theoretical and research activities of the module leader, and other teaching staff also having experiences with topics of sustainability as multidimensional concepts and contributing with interdisciplinary knowledge. Their experiences are also reflecting their transnational cooperation with academic and professional actors within the field (see cv and publications list).
Sustain4EU is a teaching activity combining two research oriented courses on BA and MA level, enabling: a) to enrol students from different programmes and levels of study into this particular teaching/learning activity, and all interested in such activities, who would apply to participate, thus encouraging knowledge and experience sharing b) to combine academic theory and knowledge with research activities entailing civic engagement. The existing infrastructure of the School of Advanced Social Studies (SASS) and its activities will be utilised but upgraded.
Three main objectives (OB) with corresponding outcomes (OT):
1. Advancing and promoting excellence in teaching and research in EU studies at HEI, which already has experiences with the JM funding (OB) but not yet with the Module (while the Module leader does not have any such experiences yet) and to achieve increased capacity to teach and research on EU matters (OT) by:
strengthening significantly the quality and the profile of existing selected courses not yet entailing EU dimension, by upgrading the curricula of two courses Research project and Research seminar with integrating an entirely new module on the European Civic Practices and Sustainability;
deploying innovative learning tools and communication approaches such as student-centred learning, open education techniques through on-line academic HUB community, and combination of teaching activities with students’ action research techniques encouraging civic skills
As a major institutional level outcome, the visibility of EU related content, will be promoted by adding it to the 2 courses on BA and MA level
2. Fostering the engagement of in teaching and research on EU subjects (OB), and support for young researcher as (OT) the Module leader – on the EU-related topic. The teaching assistant is in the final stage of complementing the PhD on the issues highly relevant for the module activities and its goals. They will both be fully supported by the experienced senior members of the Module. One of them is full professor in the field of the EU transnational civil society, NGOs and EU identity, which is of uttermost importance for the module implementation. Other two have extensive experiences with implementing the Jean Monnet Activities: with the JM Module, as well as with coordinating JM Chair and CoE (in CVs). With the Sustain4EU, the EU related content will be covered vertically through all the faculty. Contribution of the Sustain4EU in promoting the EU studies is thus an important academic value of the module
3. Enhancing and values (OB) through promoting tolerance and fostering inclusion, encouraging for young graduates (OT) and increasing the interest in understanding and , leading to a more EU citizenship (OT) by;
Equipping students with knowledge on the sustainable behaviour in the local and wider EU context relevant for their professional lives, as module activities will directly a) encourage students to recognise challenges in their own environment, b) while addressing those challenges in action research, it will enhance their competences and skills through civic engagements, c) enable them to establish contacts for further employment opportunities, as Module activities will directly linked them to relevant stakeholders in the field (NGOs, public organisations…).
Promoting sustainability linked to the EU context through academic community, connecting academia, stakeholders and interested public, thus enhancing positive impacts of the EU citizenship
Teaching and study materials
By deploying innovative learning tools and communication approaches the module responds to the burning issues across EU referring to the degradation of the society, natural environment and individuals experiencing increased personal risks induced by individualisation, and career disorientation
Sustain4EU activities will represent a thematic framework for the sessions organised within annual Slovenian Social Science Conference. Annually, topics of the Module will be represented in the form of organised public round tables within Winter camp organised by host institution each year.
The module is dedicated to establish an academic virtual academic community, which will compile the existing knowledge on the topic on sustainable behaviour and civic engagement in the EU context in order to accelerate the interest in such topics, and to promote the important and beneficial role of the EU playing in the lives of its citizens.