SAMK participated in the BUP Teachers’ Course to integrate UN SDGs into the International Tourism Management programme

Baltic University Programme (BUP) Teachers’ Course 2022–23 focused on integrating UN SDGs into Higher Education. The Teachers’ course was relevant for me as the International Tourism Management programme was undergoing a renewal process with the aim of integrating sustainability into the programme. I participated in the Teachers’ course along with two lecturers from the Environmental Engineering programme.

The course taught us participants hands-on ways to implement SDGs into teaching and study programmes. The UN SDGs are a set of 17 global goals adopted by the UN in 2015 to achieve a sustainable future. The goals address a range of social, economic, and environmental challenges.

The Teacher’s course of BUP incorporated the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a pedagogical approach to promote sustainable practices.  ESD is an approach that seeks to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to promote sustainable practices. Education, particularly ESD, is recognized as a key driver for achieving the SDGs.

By incorporating ESD principles into tourism education at SAMK, we can create responsible and environmentally conscious tourism professionals who can address challenges facing the industry. Students are empowered to become active agents of sustainable tourism practices. They promote cultural diversity and preserve natural and cultural heritage for future generations. Incorporating sustainability into tourism higher education can lead to a more responsible and ethical industry.

Integrating ESD Principles in the International Tourism Management programme: Ideas & Strategies

  • Incorporate sustainability themes into curriculum and course content
  • Use participatory learning approaches
  • Foster critical thinking
  • Emphasize local to global perspectives
  • Incorporate experiential learning opportunities
  • Encourage ethical reflection

The Baltic University Programme (BUP) is a network of universities and other higher education institutions in the Baltic Sea region. Its aim is to promote cooperation in education, research, and sustainable development. SAMK is a member in this network.

Text: Jaana Ruoho, International Tourism Management

Image: The participants of BUP Teachers’ Course 2022–23 in Kaunas, Lithuania in March 2023. Participants and teachers came from several European countries. Image from BUP.