Chelsea Samantha

Student interest for environmental Sciences surges


The urgency to address sustainability issues is present and growing across all sectors of industry, and students’ interest in taking part in this transition can be seen reflected in our recent report, which tracks the changing popularities of various sub-disciplines before and after the outbreak.

The report highlights the rising student interest in Environmental Sciences among other subdisciplines. This growth in popularity is especially significant in developing economies, where the effects of climate change are already causing greater instability.

India, Nigeria, Iran,  and Turkey are amongst the countries with the highest demand for sub-disciplines in Environmental Science and Economics.

Extreme weather, disruptions, and conflicts over natural resources will affect particularly the poor and most vulnerable in these places.

A new UN report has warned India, for example, that climate change repercussions will be irreversible unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced by 2030, stating that the country could face multiple climate-change-induced disasters in the next two decades. India makes up 13% of the demand for Environmental sub-disciplines.

In Nigeria, where the effects of climate change are equally stark, interest in environmental sub-disciplines comprises 6.2% of total real demand.

Universities play an important role in addressing global sustainable issues. As centres of knowledge, they are responsible for shaping the next generation of leaders and equipping them with the skills needed for the global transition towards sustainability.

The Futures of Education Report

The Futures of Education Report published by UNESCO’s International Commission implores the need for higher education institutions to take on a stronger role in tackling these pressing issues, as outlined in the sustainable development goals.

It aims to guide decision-making for HEIs in adapting their role in society in light of the world’s economic, social, and environmental issues. As each university must find its own unique approach, the report does not offer fixed solutions but rather opens up areas for discussion by focusing on three major themes.

Given the complex nature of the global issues at hand, the first theme calls for interdisciplinarity across academic fields. It is important that horizontal structures across scientific branches be established to allow for the needed collaboration between various disciplines. Tackling sustainability issues requires integrating perspectives that is difficult to achieve when individual disciplines operate in silos.

The second theme calls for the need for universities to open up to diverse ways of knowing. Universities must educate students with knowledge that encompass a diverse range of traditions, institutions, and epistemologies which emphasise rational thinking and scientific insights.

The report also touches on the need for a more proactive presence of HEIs in society through partnerships. HEIs should adapt their role in relation to different sectors of society including the government, private sector, as well as social organisations and communities.

For more updates, follow us!


More Blog Posts