Teaching Sustainability in Higher Education – from Theory into Practice

Starting date: Monday 3rd of June 2024
End date: Monday 16th of September 2024
Commitment: at least 40 hours including self-studies and course meetings
Seminar #1: Monday 3rd of June 2024 (10-12 CEST in Stockholm/Sweden alternatively 13-15 CEST/12-14 GMT online via Zoom)
Seminar #2: Monday 19th of August 2024 (13-16 CEST/12-15 GMT) online via Zoom
Seminar #3: Monday 16th of September 2024 (10-12 CEST in Stockholm/Sweden alternatively 13-15 CEST/12-14 GMT online via Zoom)
Course fee: 495 USD per participant (excl. VAT)
Application deadline: Monday 27th May 2024 *)
Apply here: Link to application page
Contact and inquiries: info@snowflakeeducation.com

*) Earlier is preferable since admission will be on a rolling basis until the course is full (for instructions on how to apply, see below)

Note that there is an option to attend seminars #1 and #3 either face to face in our facilities in Stockholm (Sweden) or online via Zoom. Let us know in your application which you would prefer.

1. About the course

The 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030 are crucial to address for our society. But how does education meet up to prepare students of today for the challenges they will meet in the world of tomorrow? Sustainability challenges are intrinsically complex and associated with conflicting values and perspectives. In this course, we address those challenges in the context of modern higher education, in order to assist teaching staff at universities to address suitability in their courses.

Learning outcomes

After this course, the participants will be able to…

  • reflect on why and how a sustainability perspective should or could be integrated in their domain of teaching,
  • identify strategies for integrating a sustainability perspective in their courses, and
  • design and evaluate appropriate learning activities and assessment methods for sustainability.


  • Motivate why sustainability is imperative to teach in higher education,
  • Strategies for how sustainability can be integrated in education, on programme level as well as individual modules,
  • Key competences for sustainability,
  • Designing learning activities and assessment for sustainability education, and
  • Inspirational tips on how sustainability has been introduced at other universities.

Preparations and prerequisite knowledge

A basic understanding of the concept of sustainable development is recommended. However, there is a non-mandatory training material included as a preparatory self-study unit, for participants to go through before the training if they feel the need of a brush-up.

2. Course layout

The course is structured around three parts (Part I-III), and each part consists of five sections (Sections 1.1-3.5). Each section contains a video lecture recorded by the course instructor (circa 10-20 minutes long); lecture notes; one or several reflection assignments; and a list of references/material that the participant may find useful to dig deeper into, depending on their specific challenges.

Part I: Foundation to teaching sustainability in higher education

  1. Teaching sustainability – why, how and what?
  2. The nature of sustainability and how that affects what we should teach
  3. Teaching for Agenda 2030 – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in your teaching
  4. Common trap: choosing one or a few 'star goals' among the Sustainable Development Goals
  5. Be mindful of different views – there is not necessarily a 'right' or 'wrong' answer

Part II: Key competences for sustainability

    1. Key competences for sustainability
    2. Systems thinking competence
    3. Values thinking/normative competence
    4. Futures thinking & strategic competences

    Part III: Practical considerations when teaching sustainability

      1. How to make learning sustainability relevant for the student
      2. Designing learning activities and assessment for sustainability education
      3. Using games to create an active learning experience
      4. Fulfilling the purpose – making sustainability an integral part of higher education
      5. Inspirational examples from sustainability education at various universities

        Here is a sneak-peak one of the course lectures: Lecture 1.4 in Part I of the course: Common trap: choosing one or a few 'star goals' among the Sustainable Development Goals

        During the course, there will be three course meetings. You will also review other participants’ work, and in association with the seminars there will be feedback provided by the course instructor.

        Each section is expected to require a commitment of two hours minimum from the course participant, plus time to perform assignments, review other course participants’ work and course meetings. In total, time commitment will be on average about 4 hours per week throughout the course. Make sure to allow suitable time in your schedule to make continuous progress during the course.

        The course will be administered using the Snowflake Education online platform, for which you will be given a account during the course.


        3. About the course instructor

        Jon-Erik Dahlin holds a PhD in fusion plasma physics and has devoted his professional life to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). He has taken a leading role in the integration of sustainability across programmes as a university lecturer at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), and is now working internationally with faculty training and in an advisory capacity.

        Dr. Dahlin has been appointed a programme director for several education programmes including the development of several completely new engineering programmes. At KTH, he was co-responsible for developing and delivering the faculty training course Learning for Sustainable Development (LH215V) in 2013. In 2016, he founded Snowflake Education, with the objective to assist educators and leaders in education worldwide with integrating sustainable development into education.

        In 2023, Dr. Dahlin joined King's College London as a Reader in Engineering Education, taking on a key role in the development of innovative pedagogical methods and integrating sustainability perspectives into engineering education.

        4. How to apply

        Note that your place on the course is not guaranteed. Due to an expected high number of applications we might need to limit the number of accepted participants. Admission will be on a rolling basis until the course is full. Applications received after the deadline may be reviewed if there is still seats available on the course.

        All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You will be notified on whether you have been appointed a seat on the course or not as soon as possible after your application have been reviewed. The course fee will need to be paid in full before the course starts.

        Apply by (a) going to this website and complete a purchase; and (b) sending an email to info@snowflakeeducation.com with the following information:

        • A statement that you intend to complete the full course
        • A short (maximum 100 words) description of your current teaching responsibilities (if any) and how you intend to use the knowledge gained from the course in your professional duties

        Your payment will only be collected if you are admitted to the course.

        Alternatively, if you are based in Sweden, there is an option to pay the fee by invoice. If this option applies to you, you should apply by sending an email to info@snowflakeeducation.com with the following information:

        • Your full name, email address and institution/company
        • All invoicing information needed (including invoice reference, if required)
        • A statement that you intend to complete the full course
        • A short (maximum 100 words) description of your current teaching responsibilities (if any) and how you intend to use the knowledge gained from the course in your professional duties


        5. Cancellation policy

        In the case of cancellation from your part, we need to have received notification thereof by noon two weeks before the course starts, or your institution will nevertheless be charged a full course fee.