September 21, 2016 marked the fact that Hedmark University University of Applied Sciences has, for 20 years, played a leading role in education for responsible, sustainable living both nationally and internationally.
Consequently, a new Center for Collaborative Learning about Sustainable Development at Campus Hamar was launched with a day-long program of seminar presentations and panel discussions focusing on “What are our roles in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals?”
The center has as its primary focus to further the work of PERL (The Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living) and fulfill HUAS’s obligations related to its UNESCO Chair for Education for Sustainable Lifestyles. These obligations include, among others, PERL’s role as "Key Partner" in the UN's Global Action Program for Education for Sustainable Development and that of coordinator of the educational part of the global 10-year Framework of Programs for Sustainable Lifestyles.
The Center launch was a part of Norwegian national research days and was attended by guests from near and far. The Norwegian Ministry of Education was represented by Jan Peter Strømsheim, the Ministry of Children and Equality by Sissel Husebråten and Kjersti Larsen, and the Ministry of Climate and Environment by Anne Elisabeth Scheen. Tora Aasland, leader of the UNESCO Norwegian Commission also participated in the launch, contributing to the panel discussion as well. Representatives from each of the different campuses at HUAS presented examples of ongoing projects that they are running connected to sustainable development. HUAS’s role as regional coordinator for the Norwegian “Natural rucksack” project was highlighted. Additionally, Trond Jakobsen from Lillehammer University College presented the extensive work done there related to education for sustainable development.
The panel discussion included interventions by Desmond MacNeill of the Center for Development and Environment of the University of Oslo, as well as by Andrew Preston of Forum for Environment and Development, Frans Lenglet of GAP International, Heiko Steffens of the Technical University of Berlin, and Einar Graff Hugo of Rollsløken Primary School.
Over the years, PERL has contributed to the work of promoting informed, aware consumer citizens and has built up a substantial international network. It has established cooperation with 140 universities, colleges and international organizations in 50 countries. Cooperation with the majority of these organizations has lasted more than 15 years. 32 of these have committed themselves through the UNITWIN agreement to continue to cooperate closely on with HUAS.
More information about the Center for Collaborative Learning for Sustainable Development will be forthcoming on the www.livingresponsibly.org website.