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Success Story No. 3

SAUCE programmes will prove ‘sustainable’ and continue to be run at SAUCE partner universities in 2012 and beyond

 

Thanks to continuous and intensive networking, three SAUCE universities have officially committed to offer SAUCE programmes beyond the end of the IEE-funded project period. To secure this commitment, SAUCE partner institutes needed to convince university leadership to promise organisational support and funding of staff and also to find partners to finance part of the programmes or take over part of the organisational effort:

At Aalborg University, support has been obtained for continuation of the local SAUCE programme SKUB as a permanent institution, which will allow researchers to invest time in the programme. In a new cooperation, programme coordination has been taken over by the Centre for Science, Technology and Health in Northern Jutland (NTS-Centre Northland). It is one of five national centres to support science education in Denmark and was established at AAU Department of Learning and Philosophy in 2009. This administrative support relieves the scientific staff from organisational tasks, and they will continue to offer SAUCE workshops and activities. The fourth SAUCE programme will be carried out in May 2012 and has already been fully booked by local schools.

At Freie Universität Berlin, continuation of the SAUCE programme has been made an integral part of the University’s climate protection activities. Freie Universität Berlin has officially pledged to continue the SAUCE programmes as part of the Climate Protection Treaty signed with the government of Land Berlin. The University has set aside funding for the coming four years to finance organisational tasks for SAUCE at the Environmental Policy Research Centre. Additional funding will be contributed by the Berlin Senate Departments for Health, Environment and Consumer Protection and for Education, Science and Research as well as by private funding sources.

Third, SAUCE will continue to be offered at Vienna University of Technology, thanks to funding from the state province of Lower Austria and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management. The programmes will be offered with the same thematic focus but expand the target groups to include 14 and 15 year-olds. One of the reasons for the public funding of SAUCE was the very positive reception of the programme by teachers and pupils.

At a fourth university, the final decision has not yet been taken, but would be welcomed by many. The core SAUCE team around CSTM at University of Twente (consisting of CSTM, another professor from UT and the municipal nature and environment organisation) has proposed several options for a continuation of the SAUCE programmes. One of the most likely options would be to develop a series of activities for children on the theme of energy, to be offered by a local alliance of different organisations. Within this setting, the SAUCE partners could continue to provide energy lectures and workshops for children at the university.

Finally, London Metropolitan University, in appreciation of the impact SAUCE has on its relations with schools, has invited the SAUCE team to submit an application for internal support of a continuing SAUCE programme, with an opportunity to try further variants. The University has limited internal capacity in energy education, but links have been developed to work with Architecture and Music as part of the future programme. The host Faculty of Applied Social Sciences merged with the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Languages and Education on 1 August 2011, resulting in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, which will make it easier in future to recruit students interested in ESD to help with the programme. Unfortunately, a number of public programmes that supported SAUCE have been shut down due to public spending cuts, but some of the key actors are developing new organisations with whom SAUCE could partner in future.

Altogether, in five of the six SAUCE partner countries, SAUCE programmes will, or most likely will, continue to be offered at local universities. This will allow SAUCE universities to maintain and expand the network and contacts with programme partners, and to support teachers in their efforts to teach energy topics and related skills to their pupils. These results are particularly gratifying in the context of the recent economic crunch, which has substantially reduced public educational spending in several partner countries.

 


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Updated: 01/27/2012