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BRIEF REPORT
The Residential Training Workshop on “Universities & ESD” was a five-days training course organised by the University of Athens, MIO-ECSDE/MEdIES Secretariat, the Baltic University Programme (BUP) and the Centre of Environmental Education (CEE) of Amfissa, which took place in the period between 23 to 28 May, 2010, in CEE Amfissa, Greece.

The Workshop was a continuation of the successful Leonardo course “Training on ESD through an inter-regional perspective: Baltic & Mediterranean” (Uppsala, 6-12 October 2008) and the last meeting of the Network of the Mediterranean Universities for Sustainable Development with an emphasis on Education for Sustainable Development-MEDUNNET (Athens, 21-22 October 2009).

In total, 48 experts -lecturers, researchers and university staff- all involved in ESD, participated in the training, coming from nineteen countries: England, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Croatia, Belarus, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia , Slovenia, Sweden, Turkey and Finland.

The opening of the training workshop was greeted by the Prefect of Fokida, Mr Nikolaos Fousekis, the Mayor of Amfissa, Mr Asimakis Asimakopoulos. A greeting message was sent also by the Secretary General for lifelong learning of the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Mr Efthimis Bakas. Dr Christine Jakobsson, Director of BUP also welcomed the participants, while Prof M. Scoullos, MIO-ECSDE chairman and MEdIES/MEDUNNET coordinator made an introductory presentation on “What makes a University sustainable”. Key speakers of the training were also Prof Daniella Tilbury, University of Gloucestershire, Dr Regina Steiner, University of Salzburg, ENSI Network as well as Mr Konstantinos Pavlou, University of Athens.

The training workshop aimed:
(a) To develop knowledge and competences on integrating ESD in University processes, curricula and activities within the framework of the UN Decade on ESD (2005-2014) and the UNECE Strategy on ESD
(b) To explore the concepts of the “whole institute approach” and “sustainable university”
(c) To share experiences on ESD, educational practices, policies, research, etc. working on particular case studies.

To this end, the various sessions divided on the following three thematic pillars:
i. Curriculum & Programmes of Sustainable University.
ii. Governance, Processes & ?culture? of Sustainable University.
iii. Infrastructures of Sustainable University.
For each of these thematic pillars one key presentation was made, followed by an experiential workshop or discussion in plenary, and this process stimulated interest by all training.

In order to ensure a substantial and meaningful sharing of experiences the participants had been asked to prepare a selected case study from their institutes related to ESD in Universities on these same thematic pillars. All these case studies were presented within the appropriate thematic pillar, a process that increased 'ownership' on their behalf and stimulated discussions. Apart from these sessions during which case studies presented and participants shared experiences, the training included presentations, roundtables and workshops on the aforementioned thematic pillars (see the programme below).

Being hosted in the CEE of Amfissa, the participants had the opportunity to get a firsthand experience from the activities of the CEE, its educational projects, processes, governance issues and relations with the local society.

Furthermore, a particular session was dedicated to the ESD Competences of Educators, during which participants discussed and worked on the latest draft working text on ESD Competences by the UNECE Expert Group.

The seminar included also visits to the Castle of Amfissa, to Galaxidi coastal town and to the Delphi archaeological site.

The overall raining was evaluated very positively by the participants who requested as a follow up a strengthening of cooperation amongst them -mainly through the BUP and the Mediterranean networks- as well as subsequent trainings and other projects in more countries.



One concrete outcome of the training is the compilation of all key presentations and case studies in a proceedings publication that will be shortly available in e-form, and depending on funds, eventually in a printed version as well.

The training was financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Åbo Akademi University, the Novia University of Applied Sciences, the European Commission - DG Environment, the Municipality of Amfissa, and it was hosted and in-kind supported by the Centre of Environmental Education of Amfissa.

For more information please contact MEdIES Secretariat: info@medies.net






PROGRAMME


SUNDAY 23/5
Arrivals in Athens
20.00 Welcome Reception at MIO-ECSDE


MONDAY 24/5
08.30 Departure to Amfissa
11.30 Arrival to Amfissa
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
16.00 – 16.30 Meeting & Coffee at the Centre
16.30 - 17.00 Opening & Greeting messages
17.00 - 18.00 Breaking-the-ice Session
18.00 – 19.00 Presentation of the “BUP Network”, Christine Jakobsson, BUP Director Presentation of the “MIO-ECSDE, MedUnNET & MEdIES”, Iro Alampei, MEd. MIO-ECSDE/MEdIES Secretariat
19.00 – 20.00 “What makes a University
sustainable? Michael Scoullos, Introductory comments & Brainstorming
20.00 Dinner

TUESDAY 25/5
Thematic Pillar I: Curriculum & Programmes of the Sustainable University
09.00 – 10.30 Key presentation, Prof Daniella Tilbury, University of Gloucestershire & Discussion
10.30 - 10.45 Coffee break
10.45 – 13.00 “Workshop on Curriculum & Programmes of Sustainable Universities/ Case studies Session” coordinated by Prof Daniella Tilbury
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee
16.30 – 17.00 “A new course on Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Agriculture” by Dr Christine Jakobsson
17.00 - 19.00 “Workshop on ESD Competences - links with UNECE Initiatives” coordinated by Prof Michael Scoullos, Prof Daniella Tilbury, Dr Regina Steiner
Dinner

WEDNESDAY 26/5
Thematic Pillar II: Governance, processes & culture of the Sustainable University
09.00 – 10.30 Key presentation by Dr Regina Steiner, ENSI & Discussion
10.30 - 10.45 Coffee break
10.45 – 13.00 “Workshop -?Coffee to go? Method- on Sharing views & experiences on governance, processes & culture of Sustainable Universities” coordinated by Dr Regina Steiner
13.00 Visit to the ancient castle of the city of Amfissa & lunch
16.30 – 17.00 Coffee
17.00 – 18.00 “ESD activities at the Centre of Environmental Education of Amfissa –Content, programmes, processes, governance issues, relations with the local society” Dr Michalis Theocharopoulos & Vassilis Psalidas, MSc. – Discussion
18.00 – 20.00 “Case Studies Session” coordinated Dr Michalis Theocharopoulos & Vassilis Psalidas
20.00 Dinner

THURSDAY 27/5
Thematic Pillar III: Infrastructures at the Sustainable University
09.00 – 10.30 Key presentation by Dr Konstantinos Pavlou, University of Athens & Discussion
10.30 - 10.45 Coffee break
10.45 – 13.00 “Workshop based on case studies by participants on Infrastructures at the Sustainable University” coordinated by Dr Konstantinos Pavlou
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch
16.30 – 17.00 Coffee
17.00 – 18.30 “Case studies & Experiences sharing by participants” coordinated by Dr Christine Jakobsson
18.30 Visit to Galaxidi traditional coastal town & dinner
22.00 Return to Amfissa

FRIDAY 28/5
08.00 – 08.45 Evaluation Session
08.45 – 09.00 Departure from Amfissa to Delphi
09.00 – 10.30 Visit to the archaeological site of Delphi
10.30 – 13.00 Return to Athens (Airport) - Departures





EVALUATION RESULTS

Evaluation was carried out through anonymous questionnaires. Specific quantitative results are as follows (the highest and the lower result are highlighted) :
1. To what extent you consider that your participation in this training helped you…
a) To explore the concepts of the “whole institute approach” and “sustainable university” – 84%
b) To develop knowledge and competences on integrating ESD in University processes, curricula and activities - 75%
c) To increase your competences in planning and applying ESD in the framework of your profession - 76%.
d) To exchange experiences of good and bad ESD practices in the universities, as applied in other areas - 82%
e)To explore the possibilities of collaboration for ESD activities between you and other educators at individual level (networking as educators) – 87%
f) To explore the possibilities of collaboration for ESD activities between you and other educators at institution level (networking as universities) - 83%


2. To what extent the following components of the Training were satisfactory/sufficient:
a) Variety of topics addressed within the training – 87%
b) Balance between theoretical and experiential methods – 76%
c) Quality of trainers approach (clarity, methods, explanations, etc.) – 83%
d) Quality of trainers? preparation (information notes, provision of material, bibliography, etc.) - 84%
e) Opportunity for your active involvement and participation in the programme of the training - 90%
f) Usefulness of the overall training to your own preoccupation - 79%
g) Achievement of personal expectations from the training – 88%
h) Management of time: duration of sessions, flexibility of trainers, free-time provided, etc. - 82%
i) Organisation facilities (accommodation, visits, etc.) – 94%.


Open remarks (qualitative evaluation ) and proposed ideas for follow up of this meeting include
i.e. more time for networking tools and possibilities; more group-work; a more targeted selection of case studies giving presenters specific criteria on how to present the innovation of their project; the organisation of Internet forums on the issue of sustainable university; exploration of funding opportunities; the organisation of similar meetings, possibly more focused in their theme (than general) that will include more experiential activities.

 
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