The National Union of Students and the Higher Education Academy have been producing an annual survey on student and employer attitudes towards, and skills for, sustainable development. I have enclosed links to the 5th annual survey executive summary. This year there is also a separate employers survey as well, which, according to the HEA, further supports the case for ESD.
Executive summary for students report (2015) : https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/executive-summary-students.pdf
Executive summary for employers report (2015): https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/executive-summary-employers.pdf
Key points in the students report include the following:
1. Eight in every ten students consistently believe that SD should be actively incorporated and promoted by
universities, and this increases as respondents progress through their studies. International students are
significantly more likely to agree that action should be taken by universities in this way.
2. Over two-thirds of respondents consistently believe that SD should be incorporated into all university courses.
3. Over 60% of domestic students and three-quarters of international students would like to learn more about
4. There is a continued desire among students for a reframing of curriculum content, rather than additional content
or courses. However, only approximately half of respondents currently identified their courses as a source of
skills development across the range of skills for sustainable development, with most believing these skills had been
developed through their everyday lives. A notable exception is understanding people’s relationship to nature,
which continues to lack coverage in all contexts.
5. Skills development is also high on the agenda with over two-thirds of first-year respondents consistently agreeing
that universities should be obliged to develop their sustainability skills as part of their course.
6. At the same time, maintaining and developing links with employers remains increasingly relevant to students with
internships increasingly seen as a method of further skills development.
All previous reports are accessible via this link: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/enhancement/themes/education-sustainable-development/students-and-education-sustainable-development