University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 063 - 14 May 2023

University of Bayreuth brings Education for Sustainable Development to schools

The Chair of Didactics of Geography at the University of Bayreuth, headed by Prof. Dr. Gabriele Schrüfer, is launching the school development project "Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)" at six secondary schools in Upper Franconia. The project will run until 2025. District Administrator Florian Wiedemann has assumed patronage.

"Never before have the concepts of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Learning been as important as they are today. The global community has never faced greater political, economic, social and above all ecological challenges than it does today," says Prof. Dr Gabriele Schrüfer. She holds the Chair for Didactics of Geography at the University of Bayreuth and conducts research on the topic. Her colleague Kirstin Wolf, head of the new project, explains the resulting challenge for schools: "They are faced with the extremely important task of empowering their students to deal with these very complex and difficult challenges of their future." For this reason, the University's school development team wants to support school administrators, students and the entire school family in solving this major task and initially accompany them during the next two school years.

The project should be oriented towards the needs of the pupils. They should be allowed to have an active say in how their lessons and school life are shaped with regard to the upcoming developments. The teachers provide support and try to implement the wishes within the framework of their subjects, the respective curriculum and the entire institution of the school. In addition, a comprehensive training programme in the context of ESD school development is currently being worked on, which will be open to all interested parties in the Bavarian school landscape and will start in May 2023.

The whole thing is taking place in the context of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), as called for in the National Action Plan on ESD and by UNESCO, which envisage ESD implementation in all subjects by 2030.

These schools are part of the project:

  • Christian-Sammet-Mittelschule Pegnitz
  • E.T.A. Hoffmann Grammar School Bamberg
  • Christian-Ernestinum Grammar School Bayreuth
  • Pegnitz Grammar School
  • Margravine Wilhelmine Grammar School Bayreuth
  • Pegnitz Secondary School

Those responsible for the pilot project at the university will accompany, support and document all steps taken by the schools and, at the end, make all experiences regarding hurdles overcome and opportunities seized available to other schools in a digital publication.

In addition, a project advisory board with important actors from the Bavarian school landscape, such as the Ministry of Education, the State Institute for School Quality and Educational Research, the Academy for Teacher Training and Personnel Management in Dillingen, as well as private initiatives and many other ESD experts, has been convened and  

The project is funded as part of a country initiative through Engagement Global with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Kirstin Wolf

Project Manager ESD School Development in Upper FranconiaDidactics of Geography
University of Bayreuth
University Street 30
D-95440 Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0) 921 55 2264

Portraitbild von Anja Maria Meister

Anja-Maria Meister

PR Spokesperson University of Bayreuth

Phone: +49 (0) 921  55 - 5300