Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in Higher Education

Part 1 - Orientation

Partners and Advisers

The project was funded through a unique initiative launched in 2010 by HEFCE, titled Leading Sustainable Development in Higher Education (LSDHE). This stream was established through HEFCE’s Leadership, Governance and Management scheme, to support strategic projects working to advance institutional development for sustainability and generate leading sector practice.

The project was the only LSDHE initiative to tackle the education and curriculum agenda in sustainability at the strategic level, including the sector context and the institutional change component. The project was awarded £201,375 and ran from October 2010 to September 2012.

Expert advice was provided by HEFCE to support the project in its sector level activities, through the involvement of:

Joanna Simpson (formerly Senior Policy Adviser), who joined the Expert Advisory Board as well as the critical friends group to advise the project.

Andrew Smith (Head of Estates and Sustainable Development), who also joined the Expert Advisory Board, contributed to the national conference and to broker key actions to support the project legacy.

Steve Egan (Deputy Chief Executive and Director, Finance and Corporate Resources), who was instrumental in identifying the need to commission a strategic EfS project and provided valuable support for the project concept.

The project benefited significantly from the involvement and expertise of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), which was integral to the excellent outcomes achieved at sector level during this project.

The involvement of the QAA included the following key activities, which supported and guided the project work but also provided the stimulus for further capacity-building and engagement work through the QAA and other sector stakeholders, as part of the ongoing project legacy.

Anthony McClaran (CEO), Chaired the Expert Advisory Board for the project, Chaired a panel seminar at the QAA 2012 Annual Conference, and provided the keynote address for the national conference in 2012.

The Research, Development and Partnerships Group at QAA were actively engaged in the project, with four meetings held during the project lifecycle and several associated activities:

Dr Laura Bellingham (Assistant Director, Research, Development and Partnerships Group) co-led a workshop at the national conference, supported the QAA Annual Conference seminar and is leading the development of QAA’s Guidance Briefing on EfS.

Dr Tim Burton (Assistant Director, Research, Development and Partnerships Group) advised on the positioning of EfS in relation to revisions to the new UK Quality Code for HE and made a presentation at the professional development workshop for the lead institution.

Dr Jayne Mitchell (Director of Development and Enhancement, Quality Assurance Agency), who provided initial strategic guidance and helpful advice in the early stages of the project.

An Expert Advisory Board was convened to provide strategic perspective on the landscape in which the project was located and to assist with strategic development and transfer of the findings and outcomes. Members were selected to provide an overarching steer on the sector terrain surrounding the project, bringing specialist advice from a range of sectors, roles and perspectives.

The Board met twice during the project, to consider student concerns, funding landscapes and policy contexts, as well as the place of sustainability agendas in the sector and the implications for academic leaders and managers. Membership was sought from several areas:

In tandem with the QAA, their advice resulted in clarification of key agendas and issues connected to the project, a summary of which can be viewed here. The Board also assisted the project in identifying pathways for further development and suitable connections to broker within the Higher Education sector.


Anthony McClaran (CHAIR), Chief Executive, Quality Assurance Agency
Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor, Newcastle University
Jane Davidson, Director, INSPIRE, University of Wales Trinity St David
Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, Wales
Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor, Keele University
Peaches Golding, Regional Director, Business in the Community, High Sheriff, County of City of Bristol
Virginia Isaac, Director, Alter Via Ltd
Simon Kemp, ESD Academic Lead, Higher Education Academy
David Middleton, Chief Executive, Business Council for Sustainable Development
Ms Alice Owen, Associate Director, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd
Mr Andrew Smith, Head of Estates and Sustainable Development, Higher Education Funding Council for England
Professor Tony Stevenson, Pro Vice Chancellor for Planning and Resources and Professor of Geography, Newcastle University
Professor Petra Wend, Vice-Chancellor, Queen Margaret University