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Greek Corner
MEdIES in the GAP Partner Network 1

Neroupoli, the Greek water-city

MARLISCO exhibition


First World Non-Formal Education Forum
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In a nutshell:

The RUCAS (Reorient University Curricula to Address Sustainability) is an E.U. TEMPUS project led by the Dpt. of Primary Education of the University of Cretethat was launched on October 2010 with a 3-yr duration. Main goal of RUCAS is to support the development of ESD in the Higher Education sector in developing countries (Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon) with the help of developed countries (Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Sweden).


Higher Education Institutions in the Arab region face challenges related to the slow progress regarding the implementation of the UN Decade (2004-2015) of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). This is due to a number of barriers such, limited staff awareness and expertise and lack of appropriate curricula, new teaching methods and courses to address ESD. In response to these needs and priorities, six HEIs from the EU joined efforts with six HEIs from the Arab region and an UNESCO Regional Office and pioneering NGOs to form a Consortium to tackle the identified constraints and needs. The ambitious goal of the project is to help partner HEIs in the Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon) to embed ESD into their curricula. The Project undertakes a wide range of activities to develop resources, revise and develop new curriculum initiatives, build capacity and strengthen national and regional networks.

Project summary:

The project is targeted to students, teaching staff and high rank administrators at the partner universities and in curricular sectors such as: educational sciences, applied sciences, social sciences, engineering, agricultural sciences, business and economics. An ESD student competency framework will be developed, validated and surveyed among undergraduate students across these disciplines. Then, appropriate resources will be developed such as an ESD Curriculum Review Toolkit, Virtual Centers for Curriculum Reform in every partner HEI and workshops to prepare university staff for curriculum review and development of syllabuses/modules (N=250) addressing sustainability. ESD curriculum revision in the nationally/regionally prioritized disciplines will be implemented and institutionalised in every partner HEI to ensure continuity. It is expected that more than 40% of the content of the study programs in the disciplines prioritized will be redesigned to address sustainability. A pilot initiative for student placement and practicum (N=600) in local NGOs and industry/companies will strengthen the role of HEI in society to reach the targets of the UN DESD in the region.

The Partners:

The partners from the E.U. side are:
University of Crete Greece- Applicant- Leader
University of Athens Greece: Dpt of Chemistry and Dpt of education in preschool age
Dublin City University Ireland
Stockholms University  Sweden
University of Padova  Italy
University of Bordeaux3 France
MIO/ECSDE and MEdIES, Greece.

The Partners from Arab countries of the  Mediterranean are:
Suez Canal University, Egypt      
Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development Egypt  
Hashemite University Jordan
University of Jordan Jordan
Notre Dame University Lebanon
University de La Sagesse Lebanon
UNESCO Regional Office Beirut for the Arab States, Lebanon
SEKEM Development Foundation (SDF), Egypt
League of Independent Activists (IndyACT), Lebanon

Project websites:

Project info point: http://rucas.edc.uoc.gr/

Community of practice: http://community.cc.uoc.gr/

Toolkit: http://www.larios.org/rucastoolkit/credits/



Updates from the Greek Partners in RUCAS (July 2013)

1. Kick off meeting of the project was organized in Crete in 14-15 December 2010. The partners met and discussed in depth the logical framework of the project and the foreseen activities, particularly the survey. The project website was presented.

2. One of the first activities of the project was the survey on student competences. It was entitled ESD student competence framework (generic and subject-specific) and was carried out through questionnaires addressed to the students of the partner universities. That questionnaire deals with issues of ESD in higher education, and its results will eventually help to design and infuse sustainable development issues in the study program. The total sample of the project is estimated to reach 6.000 filled questionnaires, from all partner countries.
The Survey in Greece was carried out in the two departments of the University of Athens that are partner to the project in the period January-February 2011. The Greek sample sumed up to ~ 450 questionnaires.

3. On another level, the partner universities, through the departments that participate in the project filled also the “Education for Sustainability Assessment Questionnaire (EfSAQ) for RUCAS. The purpose of this Assessment was to try to ascertain the degree to which concepts, contexts, principles and practices of sustainability have been integrated in undergraduate degree programmes across partner institutions.  All future activities of the project such as the workshops, toolkit etc will be based on this assessment. Together with the results of the survey (2) the assessment helps to re-orient their curriculum and practice to address sustainability throughout the project duration.
The survey was carried out in the two departments of the University of Athens that are partner to the project.

On the other hand NKUA contributed also to the requested Staff Readiness Survey that was circulated to all partner Institutions of RUCAS.

4. June - Sept 2011: An ESD Training Toolkit for ESD curriculum has been developed by the MEdIES Secretariat initially in draft form.

5. Oct 2011: MEdIES participated in the intensive 1st regional training workshop on ESD University Curricula Review and Revision to Address Sustainable Development , held in  Notre Dam University in Beirut, on 23-25 October 2011. MEdIES was actually responsible fot the presentation of the ESD toolkit, and the elaboration of its content by the participants, through an experiential workshop.
Read more on the outcomes of the workshop on behalf of MEdIES:

6. Jan 2012: MEdIES participated in the intensive 2nd regional training workshop on ESD, held by the Helipolis and the Suez Canal University and hosted in the Sekem farm at the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, on 7 - 9 January 2012. MEdIES Officer represented also the University of Athens, as the aim of the meeting was to re-orient the Syllabi of the partner Universities towards sustainablility. During the workshop two syllabi of the UoA (department of Chemistry) were peer reviewed by the participants / academicians.

Read more on the outcomes of the workshop at:

7. Spring 2012: Futher to the workshop in Egypt, and the comments recieved on the discussed ESD curricula, the NKUOA has finalised these curricula and began to implement them. Four curricula in total have been revised, three at undergraduate level and one at post graduate level. These curricula have been put in place and evaluated througout the last year of the RUCAS project.

8. Spring 2012: MEdIES has finalised the texts of the abovementioned “Toolkit” with nine (9) Learning /Teaching and ten (10) Assessment methods suggested for tertiary level in accordannce with ESD principles. These have been uploaded un the community of practice http://community.cc.uoc.gr/ (in profile of Iro Alampei)

9. June 2012: MEdIES widely disseminated the announcement on the RUCAS Conference entitled New Technologies, ESD and Critical Pedagogy, 15-16 June 2012 (Program: http://conf-ictesdcp.edc.uoc.gr/Programma_final.pdf). Unfortunately neither MEdIES nor NKUA were able to be represented at this Conference.

10. June 2013: Dissemination of RUCAS Survey results of the NKUA during the massive World Environmental Education Congress, Morocco, 9-14/06/2013. Both MEdIES and NKUOA representatives took part in the 7th WEEC that in total gathered some 1200 participants. NKUOA representative Vasilis Psallidas presented the results of the survey conducted in Jan 2011 in the NKUA on ESD student competence framework. The paper is included in the Conference proeedings that will be available in e-form.

11. Sept 2013: Both MEdIES and NKUOA were present in the ending Conference of RUCAS, held in Athens, September 2013


The Training Modules / Toolkit on the methods of ESD (uploaded Oct 2011)

Part I:  The teaching and Learing Strategies

1. Lecture-based learning

2. Project-based learning

3. Case-based learning

4. Inquiry-based learning

5. Problem-based learning

6. Interdisciplinary learning

7. Service learning

8. Discovery learning

9. ICT-enabled learning

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