Meeting Workforce Needs? Developing and Delivering Education for ‘Sustainable Communities’

Philip Brown, Helen Sharman, Graeme Sherriff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Embedding notions of sustainability within both higher education and practice occasionally faces resistance. This chapter details one such experience of resistance by drawing on attempts in the last decade to develop and embed the concept of ‘sustainable communities’ in higher education and professional practice within the United Kingdom (UK). The Foundation Degree in Sustainable Communities (FdSc) was developed by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in partnership with a select number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The development of the FdSc was spurred by, what was perceived as, the significant lack of skills, within the various sectors, required to deliver New Labour’s ‘Sustainable Communities’ agenda within a framework of regeneration. By drawing upon research with the HCA, HEIs and students this chapter explores the development of the FdSc and reflects upon the experience of the various stakeholders who have played a part in the delivery of the programme. A positive unanticipated outcome of this process; the collaborative working, provides ideas as to how to increase the effectiveness of collaboration across HEIs generally. The chapter also highlights various challenges and dilemmas’ facing the FdSc as it was delivered within a very different political and public milieu to that of the 2000s. The chapter focuses on the difficulties that can be faced by HEIs when they become the delivery agents of political discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development Research at Universities in the United Kingdom
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches, Methods and Projects
EditorsWalter Leal Filho
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319478838
ISBN (Print)9783319478821, 9783319838489
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameWorld Sustainability Series
ISSN (Print)2199-7373
ISSN (Electronic)2199-7381


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