Home » The 2023 Congress » Programme » Parallel Session 2: Sustainability in Education – Creating Awareness for Future Leaders Part 1 (Hybrid)

Parallel Session 2: Sustainability in Education – Creating Awareness for Future Leaders Part 1 (Hybrid)

Tuesday 10 October 2023
12:00 – 13:15
Augustiner Kloster

Sustainable Futures: Global Trends and the Role and Responsibility of Technology Universities

Sub-themes in focus – sharing global perspectives: Sustainability in Education – Creating Awareness for Future Leaders

What: Round Table Discussion: Parallel Session

Overview In these sessions we will explore the sub-themes for the Congress through a range of short presentations leading into round table discussions. 

Each parallel session will have a Chair to facilitate the discussion and we hope the conversations might spark areas for future WTUN collaboration and workstream developments 


Dr. Tapany Patcharawit, Deputy Director of the Center for International Affairs, Suranaree University of Technology


  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Harff, Professor of International and Behavioural Economics, Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences
  • Prof. Dr. Passanan Assavarak, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at the School of Liberal Arts, KMUTT (ONLINE)
  • Dr Keren Bielby-Clarke Associate Professor (Life Sciences Simulation), University of Bradford
  • Dr Esra AlDhaen, Executive Director for Strategy, Quality and Sustainability, Associate Professor, College of Business and Finance, Ahlia University


Prof. Dr. Christoph Harff

‘ “NudgeNight” – Curricular student empowerment’

To tackle challenges like climate change or sustainability in education, it is essential to empower students directly to address the issues themselves. The “NudgeNight” is a curricular format, where students have the task to create nudges – a gentle touch or push – based on concepts in psychology and behavioral economics to influence someone towards better decisions without limiting the freedom of choice or using economic (monetary) incentives. Not only will this approach improve the understanding of how people make judgments and decisions, but students may also learn to better assess the quality & impact of their own decisions. For example, in the area of energy efficiency, the importance of human behavior becomes apparent: the savings potential of the human factor is estimated at 15% for electricity and up to 20% for heat. [1] Only if technological and process improvements are accompanied by changes in attitudes and behavior can (further) significant energy savings be achieved.

The NudgeNight works like a fair where students present at the end of their semester their nudges to the public. Each year the students have to conceptualize, plan, and execute the NudgeNight themselves. This includes engaging with experts, target groups and laymen. It also covers the technical aspects (on sight and/or virtual) of such a fair. In 2021, the NudgeNight at Hamm-Lippstadt University of Applied Sciences covered a variety of sustainability areas such as energy, water and food consumption, transport and mobility choice, waste management and resource efficiency, travel & tourism, and circular economy under the theme “Nudging to Future”. The students collaborated with Professors from other fields (such as energy & resource management) and external experts.

For more information see: www.nudgenight.com

[1] See EnergieAgentur.NRW GmbH (2017), „Faktor Mensch“ – Sensibilisierung und Motivation der Beschäftigten.


Prof. Dr. Passanan Assavarak

‘Enhancing sustainable education through bottom-up initiatives and university community participation’

Among the five essential components of sustainable education—knowledge, awareness, skills, attitudes, and participation—participation is likely to have the greatest long-term impacts. However, most previous project initiatives have been implemented following a top-down approach, especially in high power difference societies like Thailand where authorities unilaterally impose projects. To promote sustainable education, it is crucial to prioritize transformative involvement, emphasizing bottom-up initiatives and encouraging active community participation. Therefore, in this study, an environmental sustainability project was implemented in a GenEd course at a technology university, encouraging students to propose innovative projects related to the concept of green universities and involving university students and staff in participatory budgeting voting for the projects to be implemented. The selected projects were built and installed on the university campus by the students. Instead of imposing innovations through a top-down structure, by using authentic learning this project resulted in the development of essential soft skills and active participation within the university community, promoting sustainability in education.

Dr Keren Bielby-Clarke

‘Opportunities and challenges in technology-enhanced learning: developing awareness and confidence in educators and learners.’

The constant developments in online teaching and learning provide unrivalled opportunities for learners and educators alike, but are often counteracted by the challenges faced by individuals when acclimating to new platforms, systems and methods of learning. As these new resources are often introduced by those who are already comfortable with the technology and have appropriate resources to work with, it is often difficult to foresee or recognise problems encountered in a “real-life” setting.

Teaching sustainably and flexibly using a variety of online resources requires an awareness of the possible challenges faced by both students and educators who may lack confidence due to not being “technological natives” or issues with underlying infrastructure and digital poverty. However, the opportunities available with well-structured and supported resources, used consistently by individuals who are comfortable and confident, far outweigh the challenges and pitfalls.

Here we will discuss some specific examples where new platforms and technology-enhanced learning resources have been developed and disseminated into undergraduate teaching, recognising and overcoming initial barriers to provide a future-facing experience for both learners and educators.

Dr Esra AlDhaen

‘Sustainability (why and how) to expedite actions from Higher Education Perspective’

Sustainability has become a vital issue, higher education sector needs to consider revising or setting clear strategies to integrate sustainability in education, the integration of sustainability should cover the core functions of the higher education institution related to teaching, research, and societal impact. This presentation will focus on a real-case study with inclusion of sustainability case studies in the curricula as part of formal and non-formal teaching as well as research with societal impact. The presentation will guide Future Leaders of Higher Education on what to consider including as part of their strategies and policies to create better awareness of sustainable actions towards societal impact.

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