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Since September 2019, a team around Prof. Dr. Silke Bustamante from HWR Berlin has been researching responsibility and sustainability teaching related aspects in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The transnational Erasmus+ project partnership "EFFORT - EFFectiveness Of Responsibility Teaching" aims to support HEIs to create effective sustainability-, ethics-, and/or CSR-related teaching instruments.


Sustainable Development and the responsibility of political, corporate and other actors for solving current social and environmental problems is one of the top priorities of international organizations such as the UN (UN Agenda 2030) as well as the European Union (EU Sustainable Development Strategy) and national and local governments. Higher Education Institutions play a crucial role in educating responsible future decision makers – in their role as managers, employees, consumers or investors. The UNESCO took up this idea by promoting concepts of “Education for Sustainable Development”. At the same time, the PRME initiative of the UN Global Compact formulates six principles that Higher Education Institutions should follow in order to support the formation of responsible future managers. There is an increasing number of courses and modules designed with the aim of increasing knowledge of and awareness for CSR and sustainability, changing attitudes and developing competencies to enable sustainable and responsible behaviour in private and business contexts. However, despite this, there is not a profound understanding yet about which teaching approaches and methods are most effective in which contexts and how sustainability related competencies can be developed best.


The objective of the EFFORT project is to develop instruments that support Higher Education Institutions to increase the effectiveness and quality of their sustainability-, ethics and/or CSR-related teaching.

The expected results consist of the follwing components or so called “Intellectual Outputs (IOs)”:

  • a survey tool for controlling the effectiveness of teaching formats (IO1),
  • a handbook presenting an overview on currently existing innovative CSR-/sustainability-related teaching courses as well as detailed descriptions of selected courses (IO2),
  • a self-evaluation tool allowing HEIs to classify their teaching courses and evaluate the stage of the maturity of sustainability integration within the own institution (IO3),
  • three new innovative teaching formats (IO4 - IO6),
  • a statistical analysis report presenting insights on the effectiveness of several teaching formats and influencing factors (IO7), and
  • a guideline (IO8) that gives recommendations especially for the design and implementation of sustainability- and responsibility-related teaching formats.