our alternative league table based on sustainability
University is where most high-level decision makers are educated, but much of what is taught in key subjects does not support or align with the actions needed to tackle the climate emergency and ecological crisis. As David Orr, the US academic activist, says, “… the destruction of the planet is not the work of ignorant people. Rather it is largely the results of work by people with BAs, BScs, LLBs, MBAs, and PhDs…Education can equip people to be more effective vandals of the earth.”
We know that some key subjects are influenced by large corporates that are working against the advice of the world’s leading climate scientists to stay with the 1.5 degree Celsius warming limit.
We have a ‘world-class’ education system that is failing people and planet, and young people demand change. We need curriculum reform to address the climate emergency and ecological crisis.
We have analysed the top 20 universities (according to THE) that teach economics, law, politics, engineering, and education and health; and how these courses align with the actions needed to tackle the climate emergency and ecological crisis.
We have revealed that these institutions fall woefully short of the kind of action we need to see, and this uncovers a problem: the people with the privilege to study at the so-called ‘top’ universities, and go on to become key decision makers across society, are being educated at institutions that do not act in the public good and do not ensure their graduates are prepared to lead a more just and sustainable future.
We are calling on these top 20 institutions to change their curriculums – young people should be able to choose an education at a world class institution that will equip them to deal with the world’s greatest challenges. And it’s not just about world leaders; everyone has the opportunity to contribute positively to climate solutions, and therefore every career and educational opportunity should reflect this.