Aug 3 • 9M

Edinburgh Futures Institute: a new model for higher education?

A Green Edge podcast with Professor Chris Speed, the new Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI).

 
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Skilling up for Net Zero
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For many years, university leaders have made bold statements about how they’re responding to the future. But, oftentimes they go on to talk about the same old traditions, structures and august alumni. We still see the old university models: the Humboldtian, the Newman, and the Robbins-Oxbridge still in evidence and being roundly defended.

But changes are happening. Previous Green Edge posts have drawn on the experiences of Imperial College, The Open University, Liverpool John Moores University, and the exciting new London Interdisciplinary School based in Whitechapel. Always looking for developments with high potential, we sat down recently on a rather crackly Zoom line from Bilbao with Professor Chris Speed, the new Director of the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI).

The Green Edge’s interest here is very simple. We believe there is a need for both radical reform and an increase in the number of students enrolling in degree programmes with distinctly sustainable themes. Programmes that will equip them to progress the net zero transition across the whole UK economy.

The Green Economy needs a talented, creative green workforce. An important aspect of this is a move in Higher Education to problem-centred, multi-disciplinary and dynamic curricula with an inclusive approach to admissions. These programmes need to fuse learning and research with the world outside, so students can learn, research and develop their capabilities as the Green Economy builds around them. In our opinion, EFI fits well into view and so we felt was well worth understanding further.

Our thanks to Professor Speed for taking the time to talk to The Green Edge.