supported cooperation between eight European universities to develop and implement innovative educational materials and methods in the subject of sustainable food systems.
an in-depth analysis of students' understanding of the sustainable food system concept
SUSPLUS ‘Innovative Education towards Sustainable Food Systems’
In face of global population growth, resource constrains and growing environmental as well as public health concerns, there is a strong need for a shift towards more sustainable development. As most of the mentioned global problems are strongly influenced by the current unsustainable food systems including diets, high priority is given towards developing strategies to improve sustainability of food production and consumption models. At the same time there are hardly any study programmes and modules targeting this important subject globally and the sustainable food is still a niche market in many European countries, hardly supported by well-educated and skilled university graduates. Therefore, SUSPLUS project supported cooperation between eight European universities to develop and implement innovative educational materials and methods in the subject of sustainable food systems, thus provide university students with necessary knowledge, competencies and skills to support this important sector, but also increase their employability.
The project began with an in-depth analysis of students' understanding of the sustainable food system concept and their expectations towards education within this subject area, followed by the development of innovative teaching contents and by testing them with students and lecturers during educational activities, including e-learning, Intensive Study Programme, lectures about different aspects of sustainable food systems given by university students in schools, students’ Small Research Projects in cooperation with enterprises representing sustainable food sector. Reports, programmes and syllabuses of the above mentioned educational activities were produced and disseminated within the Partnership and beyond, to be implemented into existing teaching programmes. In addition, a guide/booklet on the sustainable food system concept has been jointly elaborated by the project consortium and disseminated to all interested stakeholders.