Sustainable mindset as a competence of future Aalto graduate?

In today’s world, no one can escape the global challenges like climate change or inequality which affect our everyday activities and work life. Our students need to be able to reflect and understand what these challenges mean for their future careers and in the context of their disciplines.

Aalto University's long-term goal is to integrate sustainable development into all teaching. This goal has been approached in different ways: integration of the basics of sustainability, building students’ partial expertise, and a full specialization into the topic.
Students unloading measuring instruments donated by HUS on biological phenomena measurement to determine the lifecycle effects of products
Students unloading measuring instruments donated by HUS on biological phenomena measurement to determine the lifecycle effects of products / photo: Annukka Jyrämä

Building awareness

Integrating sustainability as a theme with a connection to each disciplinary content enables students to understand sustainability as a part of their professional identity instead of something completely separate. Tailor-made solutions to mandatory courses of bachelor's education in close collaboration with the responsible teachers allow the best coverage and relevancy for sustainability integration. Aalto Sustainability Hub is collaborating closely with Aalto's other cross-cutting themes, such as multidisciplinarity and entrepreneurship, to develop the integration model.

Currently, Aalto Sustainability Hub (with the other cross-cutting theme experts) has conducted two pilots on the co-teaching model in the mandatory bachelor courses in Aalto ELEC. In each case, with a course’s responsible teacher a customized model is created to find out the best way to integrate sustainable development easily.

Educating sustainability experts

Building students’ partial expertise in sustainability is currently reached through optional courses. In all Aalto University schools, there are specialized courses or a possibility to combine school or Aalto wide courses into a combination of sustainability studies. The course perspectives can vary from climate change to renewable energy. For example, Sustainable Global Technologies is an entity of three courses that highlight the role of sustainability and technology in today’s global world.

In Aalto University, we also offer dedicated Master’s Degree programs on a variety of sustainability themes where our students learn to combine state-of-the-art sustainability aspects with a proper interdisciplinary understanding of the knowledge in other fields.

Check out Aalto’s Dedicated programmes focusing on sustainability here.


Annukka Jyrämä

Annukka Jyrämä

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Teaching Lab  — Designing future-proof education
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