1. The Guardians of the 2030
Agenda; the role of SLU students
in the new development agenda.
David Gevert, Maria Eklund, Maja Möller,
Elin Hålldin & Rebecca Hymnelius
2. Swedish University of
and Agenda 2030
- A progress report about SLU:s work towards
sustainable development in the agronomy
David Gevert, Elin Hålldin, Maja Möller, Maria Eklund & Rebecca Hymnelius
7. Quotes from students about sustainable
in the agronomy programs
Student A: ”Sustainable development should be a recurrent
element in all courses. It is often discussed in the overview
courses, but rarely in the program-specific courses ... "
Student B: "Most courses are based on traditional
economic theory, which to a large extent, has
proved to be unsustainable."
8. Quotes from interviews with
program directors of studies
Director A: "... the implementation of Agenda 2030 is a long
process. However, I imagine it's just a matter of time before we
see it as an explicit assignment in which the concept of Agenda
Director B: "... I do not believe Agenda 2030 is part of any
curriculum yet, however sustainable development is currently
included in the educational plans at SLU.”
9. • Potential for development
• Ongoing changes in the agronomy programs enable
implementation of Agenda 2030.
• There is room for interpretation in the public
documents from SLU
• Interdisciplinary work between the different agronomy
Maria: Hi! Thank you for inviting us to this meeting. We are five students from SLU, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. All of us are Agronomy students, but with different expertise. An agronomist has a competes throughout the whole food chain, with knowledge about economical, as well as social and environmental sustainability. And today there are five different agronomy programs and four of these five programs are included in this proje...ct group, and my name is Maria and I am an Animal agronomist…………….. and except these four programs that we present, there is also a plant and soil agronomist program.
The reason we are here today is to present our student project, in which we investigated to what extent Agenda 2030 and sustainable development is included in the different agronomy programs at SLU. This project was made in collaboration with SIANI.
We feel this project is relevant for us agronomy students, because we have specialized knowledge within the whole food chain, including the different aspects of food production and sustainability. And as you all know, a sustainable food production is essential to achieve the 17 sustainability goals.We have limited out project to goal 2, 12, 13 and 15. We chose these goals because we felt they have the strongest connection to the agronomy programs.
Maja: Okay, so in order to evaluate agronomy students ’ intrests and knowledge about sustainable development and Agenda 2030, we made a web-survey where all agronomy students starting their prgrams between 2011 and 2016 could enter.
We also did some semi-structured interviews with four of the directors of studies in each agronomy program, except for rural development agronomy program where we interviewed a lector instead. We also talked to SLUs deputy president and SLU Global. SLU Global was interesting to include in the project, since they coordinate and support SLUs research and education, aiming at developing the agricultural sector in low-income countries.
The project also include reviews on some of the university’s public documents regarding SLUs educational strategy.
Since sustainable development is the very core of the agenda we felt we needed a definition of it, and so we used the definition from the Bruntlands report (you are probably already familiar with it it but I’ll say it anyway…) Since all of the students originate from different backgrounds and study different disciplines we wanted to find out what their idea of sustainable development was. Therefore, in the survey we asked that exact question. These quotes are some exa...mples of the answers we received. The answers differed a lot from one another (we assume this is because the students have different backgrounds, but this is also what makes it interesting, and from this we conclude that the answers resemble the Bruntlands report, however, expressed in different ways).
We invited approximately 900 students to participate in our survey, and about 170 students did participate. That gives us an answer frequency of 18 %, which indicate that our result wont be representative for all agronomy student at SLU but it gives us an idea of how the situation are among the students.
In the survey we asked questions about how our four selected goals are treated in the agronomy programs. We asked them to rate at which level they think each global goal are implemented in their education.
Goal 2 – No hunger and improved nutrition
Our first diagram show answers regarding goal two, No hunger. Here we see that about 50 % of the student answer that the goal are implemented in the education at a high grade. And about 30 % at a very high grade.
Goal 12 – sustainable consumption and production
More than half of the students says that goal 12 is part pf their education at a high grade, and about 20 % answer a “very high grade” or low grade.
Goal 13 – Climate changes and its consequences
On the question if their education touches climate change issues and consequence almost 60 % of the participants answered a high grade and almost 30% low grade.
Goal 15 . sustainable use of ecosystems, preventing decline of biodiversity and land degradation
The answers are comparable too what they answered in the other questions. About 50 % answer high grade and 25 % low grade.
Our interpretation of the result are that the students that participated in our survey are experiencing that SLU really take these goals and work towards sustainable development serious. But we are also aware of that too few students participated in the survey, maybe it was the 20 % that participates in the survey that also are the students who care the most for these type of questions.
MAJA: So, one of the questions in the survey sent to the students questioned whether an intrest in sustainable development had affected their choise in education. 70 % of the students said that it had affected them at a very high or high amount. Even though many students believe that the goals 2, 12, 13 and 15 in the Agenda 2030 already are implemented in the agronomy programs, do we as a group interpret some of the answers like there is a need for further implementation of sustainable development and Agenda 2030 in the agronomy programs. Here are two quotes from the survey, indicating the need for this.
So, just to be clear, these overview courses are studied by all agronomy students from the different diciplinces, while the program specific courses are only held to each specific agronomy program.
The previous slide showed answers from the survey regarding whether or not students believe that sustainable development is implemented in their education. These quotes I’m going to show you now are taken from the interviews with the program directors during which we also asked them for their opinion on whether or not Agenda 2030 is implemented in the education, their replies were…
Maria:* We could see that there is potential for further development to include Agenda 2030 in the agronomy programs, but we could also see that students have a lot of knowledge about sustainable development, and that they sometimes have a bigger knowledge about these questions than the students themselves believe that they have. * Right now the agronomy programs are going through changes in, where new courses and the course plans are developed. And these changes enable further changes and implementation of Agenda 2030. * However, the collected material for this project indicates that there is a lot of room for interpretation in course plans and public documents regarding sustainability and Agenda 2030 from SLU. This leads to uncertainty of how well sustainability issues reaches out to the students. This means that course managers and lecturers has a quit big influence on the courses. *Further, it is thought that interdisciplinary work between the different agronomy programs could increase the knowledge and capacity to look at sustainability issues from a more objective perspective. This could potentially be done later in the education, when the students has formed a knowledge within their own expertise.