The transition to sustainability thinking is occurring throughout society and these themes are inevitably encountered in the world of work, says Dean Hanna-Leena Pesonen from the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics. JSBE emphasises responsibility and sustainable business, and its courses are well in line with the UN goals for sustainable development. Now the themes of responsibility are visible in a new way in the study menu.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals were set in 2015. They include 17 goals focusing mainly on the environment, economy and decreasing poverty. In addition, there are various sub-goals.

AS part of its new curriculum, JSBE has started to highlight these goals in its courses.

“We have had both a need and a desire to make visible what in our studies is related to responsibility and sustainability,” Pesonen says. “We have known for a long time already that our courses include these themes even to a large extent, but it has been partly hidden in between the lines. The goals of sustainable development serve as a good tool for bringing these aspects into focus.”

JSBE provides altogether sixty courses that deal with the themes of sustainable development.

The new JSBE curriculum for provides a good opportunity to present these themes. Both in the curriculum and in Sisu, when a course matches with one or more of the goals, this point is recorded in the course description.

“Our aim is that in the future the courses could also be searched by themes, according to specific goals of sustainable development,” says Pesonen. “By the same token, we are exploring possibilities to insert goal-related symbols in the course offering so that they would be even more clearly visible.

“Moreover, we also wish to further increase our cooperation with other faculties and the Open University so that courses dealing with sustainable development would be available for continuous learning.”

JSBE is piloting this kind of thematic promotion at the University of Jyväskylä, presumably as the first university in Finland. Pesonen sees this as a good opportunity for other universities as well as a natural extension of the 12 theses to promote sustainable development that Finnish universities recently co-published.

“These is important educational content about which we should provide knowledge, insights and perspectives for students as much as possible. The transition to sustainability thinking is occurring throughout society and these themes are inevitably encountered in the world of work. Therefore, it is advisable to join forces as widely as possible in order to address them.”

Read more about UN Sustainable Development Goals

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