Considering the strategic importance of quality teaching and curriculum design at the undergraduate level among university staff for infusing SDGs in course curricula, the project aims to create and provide capacity building workshops, resources and opportunities that foster innovative and effective pedagogical practices among academic staff in multiple academic disciplines in South Africa. More specifically:
- Build capacity among academic staff at the undergraduate level developing their teaching and learning techniques to meet the challenges posed by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Embed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in multiple disciplines nationally prioritized in South Africa such as environment, agriculture, biology and related sciences, engineering, health sciences in line with Bologna process.
- Establish a Center of Excellence (CoE) for innovative learning, teaching and curriculum design in each South African partner university to address SDGs.
- Make policy suggestions for the establishment of a National Center for the Accreditation and Certification of University Teaching.
- Develop an Online Community of Practice (OCoP) and Network for university teaching staff engaged in innovative teaching and learning practices as well as curriculum design and development for SDGs.
- Establish the necessary infrastructure and resources to monitor, assess and sustain all the above in the long-term.
The ways in which the situation set out under the previous section will be changed can be described as follows:
- PUAT will establish mechanisms at a national level to infuse SDGs in multiple academic disciplines by promoting the status of teaching and learning that is highly undervalued currently. There will be a shift from positioning SDGs to implementing SDGs in line with the SA’s National Development Plan, in alignment with the 2030 Agenda for SDGs.
- The SA partner universities will have modernised curricula addressing SDGs becoming role model in the African region. There will be institutional policies , resources and arrangements to make teaching and learning visible in addressing the SDGs.
- There will be change in policies to consider teaching skills as indispensable in academic promotion and pedagogical certification demanded for all academic staff. This will highly boost the academic ranking of SA universities globally.
- The current concern in South Africa with decolonising the higher education curricula will be realised through the substantial changes in approaches to teaching and learning together with inter-institutional and inter/cross-disciplinary collaboration. Infrastructural problems that made it difficult for academics to engage in quality teaching and professional development will be overcomed, with better student learning achievements.
- By the end, there will be a significant cohort of academic teaching champions, who will drive wider changes across all higher institutions South Africa. This project will also result in a core, nationally accepted framework for induction and continuous professionalization of academic teaching in multiple academic fields.