This is the transcript for the video Sustainability and Environment

So hi everyone. Um, so before we do start, uh,
I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation upon who’s
ancestral lands I’m presenting from,
and as well where the UTS city campus now stands. I’d like to pay respect
to the elders both past and present acknowledging them as the traditional
custodians of knowledge for this land.
So welcome to open day.
We’re excited to introduce this new combined degree offering at
UTS, the Bachelor of Sustainability and Environment. My name is Dr.
Kristine Aquino, and I’m the degree coordinator.
And joining me in this presentation is professor Kate Buckley,
who is part of the core teaching team.
So the Bachelor of Sustainability and Environment is a combined degree that can
be taken with a Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Health,
the Bachelor of Business,
the Bachelor of Economics and the Bachelor of Management.
So in this brief presentation,
we’ll discuss what this new degree is about and why we think you should study
sustainability here with us at UTS.
So the Bachelor of Sustainability and Environment engages with the big issue
of our time, the sustainable future of our societies and our planet.
So how do we limit global warming to below two degrees?
How do we make cities more sustainable?
How do we reduce land and water pollution? For example,
there are over 5 trillion plastic pieces floating in the open ocean together
weighing up to nearly 300,000 tons, which get into the fish
we eat and kill marine mammals and seabirds who mistake it for food.
Equally important,
How do we broaden the notion of environmental sustainability to better achieve
gender equality, social solidarity,
and intergenerational equity.
So these big questions have to be addressed in the here and now we need to start
connecting, um, how these grand challenges,
what these grand challenges mean for us. So for global warming, for example,
how can we influence our governments to take action against climate change
causes such as fossil fuel industries and impacts such as Bush fires,
despite scientific and economic uncertainty for building a
sustainable city? What can we do to better balance environment,
the environmental benefits of urbanization with its challenges,
such as smog and increased traffic congestion,
and then for the issue of cultural sustainability,
what are the ways to improve participation from the most marginalized,
for example, indigenous people in local development activities,
and how can we do better to recognize that they are leaders are rights holders
and decision-makers, and finally,
to reduce the amount of plastics ending up in the ocean,
how can consumers and businesses do better to reduce plastic use and
increase recycling.
This degree aims to meet these challenges ahead,
particularly the demand for sustainability related expertise.
Once government mandates sweeping sustainability initiatives,
they’ll have to rapidly scale up to meet demand.
This degree will equip you with the knowledge, skills,
and resources to meet that demand. And at UTS,
we believe what future experts this would require is multidisciplinary grounding
research suggests that people with single discipline training,
working in sustainability struggle with the complexity of sustainability in
especially the mix of social business and biophysical study. The United
Nations sustainable development goals, which are on the slide.
The STGs show, the breadth and complexity of sustainability.
None of these things can be achieved in isolation from the others. For example,
STG three on good health and wellbeing is underpinned by STGs one and
two, the eradication of poverty and hunger.
And it’s also an underpinned by SDG six,
providing clean water and sanitation for all these goals.
Plus many of the others such as seven, delivering affordable and clean energy,
12 enabling responsible consumption and production and 16 enabling
strong institutions that espouse peace and justice, which relate to seven,
12, and 16. They all combined to make possible STG 11,
sustainable cities and communities and achieving all of those goals needed to
address the,
to address the social inequalities around gender, race and the divide between
rich and poor, which are STGs five and ten.
And so it’s significant to point out here as well,
that the term environment in the degree name, sustainability and environment,
doesn’t just relate to the natural environment and associated issues like
climate change, but rather it’s defined in broad terms to include social,
cultural and political environment.
The complexity of all of this is very challenging,
but experience shows that trying to tackle these problems,
one by one doesn’t work.
Sustainability is about bringing together knowledge about people, cultures,
politics, together with knowledge about the environment,
resources and the atmosphere,
as well as engineering and innovation and using this integrated knowledge to
improve our present and to plan our future.
So studying sustainability and environment at UTS means you will
balance depth in an area of professional practice with the
multidisciplinary knowledge needed to drive change.
So this degree aims to add value and specialization on sustainability
to your professional degree.
And part of this experience will include engaging with organizations and
industry experts,
experts across a range of sectors and different communities throughout your
studies to address and gain experience tackling real world problems
related to sustainable development. And so by the end,
you will have gained practical,
essential skills in problem solving data gathering and analysis,
design thinking, project management, stakeholder engagement,
and communication in your studio subjects.
So in more detail,
the Bachelor of Sustainability can be combined with the following degrees,
Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Health, Bachelor of Business,
Bachelor of Management and Bachelor of Economics completing the combined degrees
will involve four years of full-time study or eight years part-time.
So it really does just add one extra year to your professional degree.
It’s a comprehensive yet flexible study plan.
So you’ll complete 96 credit points required in your chosen professional degree.
And then another 96 credit points in the Bachelor of Sustainability and Environment.
Which will comprise of core compulsory subjects.
And then a range of subjects that you can choose from in four key streams of
industry, governance, science, and society.
So the bachelor of sustainability is designed to be complimentary to your
professional degree, science, health, business, economics, and management.
These are fields that are entangled with the challenges of sustainability and
who each play a vital role in navigating future solutions.
The core subjects are comprised of two first year introductory
subjects. The first is sustainability in context,
which will introduce you to the different meanings and applications of the
concept of sustainability, the environmental, social, cultural, economic,
and political from the get-go.
We’ll encourage you to think multidimensionally and critically about the various
aspects of sustainability,
how different priorities interact and come into conflict or create synergies.
You’ll be given foundations in written analysis,
critical reading and group work at the same time,
strengthening skills and communication and intercultural competence that are
required for the why.
Why does sustainability degree. The second introductory unit,
which is called arguments evidence and intuition will introduce you to
foundational approaches to data literacy, how to collect data,
read data, and use it as supporting evidence specifically.
It provides you with training on how to you use data to construct a new
narrative, or to tell a story,
pitching a sustainability solution to investors tendering for contract
development initiative,
or convincing your organization to adopt sustainability programs.
These all required skills in data literacy to use for evidence-based arguments.
And then advancing from, uh,
on your first year core subjects where you gained skills in data literacy and
knowledge on the complexity of sustainability in your second year of study,
you’ll then take the core subject monitoring evaluation and learning.
So how do we know if this, uh, sustainability initiative has worked,
whether it worked or not, how do organizations learn from this experience?
So in this subject,
you’ll draw on your understanding from your professional degree and from across
humanistic and via physical disciplines to think about what kinds of
indicators, uh,
and what kind of data best enable evaluation of progress towards
meeting sustainability objectives,
and then how to best feed this back into the policy and project cycle to ensure
effective organizational learning.
And then in your third and fourth year of study,
you move on to what are called capstone subjects.
So these are subjects at the final years of your study,
designed to draw together the theoretical strands of your degrees and
prepare you for life beyond university and deeply embedded into these capstone
level subjects is the development of skills like teamwork and project planning
and management.
Aside from the core subjects,
you’ll then select two subjects each from three of the following streams,
plus two electives, which you can draw from any of the four strengths.
These streams: governance, science industry,
and society and culture are designed to give students a breadth of knowledge and
skills needed to deal with the different dimensions that pertain to
sustainability issues.
The science stream gives students foundational knowledge in the biophysical
dimensions of sustainability.
It introduces the ecological basis upon which we pose questions about
The governance stream engages with questions and challenges around
global and local institutions and the national and transnational laws and
policies that shape sustainability issues.
The subjects in the industry stream challenged students to engage with
real-world problems, to develop mindsets for innovation,
and to bring you into a direct contact with professionals and practitioners
in the sustainability field. Lastly,
the society and culture stream immerses students in the human side of
sustainability people and communities and their cultural behaviors,
social systems,
and the histories and how these are bound up with the sustainability challenges
we face. These streams are meant to compliment your professional degree.
And so your professional degree,
which is the other degree you’re doing will dictate which streams you need to
choose from. For example,
if you’re doing a Bachelor of Science as your other degree,
you won’t really be required to take the science stream,
but instead complete subjects from the governance industry and
society and culture streams.
This is because you don’t want too much overlap with the existing subjects.
You’ve taken your science degree,
or if you’re taking the Bachelor of Business or economics or management,
you won’t be required to take the industry stream,
but instead complete subjects from governance, science, and society and culture.
Again, this is to avoid a one-sided degree on sustainability,
where the industry stream will come,
will encompass a lot of what you’ve covered already in your business studies.
So how are you going to fit all of it in?
So here’s a sample study plan for combining the degree with a bachelor of
So in your first year you would take four subjects in the business degree,
and then two of the core introductory subjects in the bachelor of sustainability
and environment, and then as well,
commenced two subjects in your designated sustainability and environment
streams. In your
second year you take one core subject in the bachelor of sustainability and
and then two subjects in your designated sustainability stream.
And then again, complete the core subjects of your business degree in years,
three and four, you complete your major in the business degree,
complete one capstone subject each year for the bachelor of sustainability
And you can complete your final subjects in your designated sustainability
streams across these years.
You’ll also have a couple of elective choices.
Just unmuting myself there, workplaces, including private companies,
government and non-government organizations are hoping for graduates who are
ready to make an impact right away and rapidly grow into sustainability leaders.
Some organizations invest considerable resources in professional upskilling and
have training officers to execute their sustainability related work.
But many organizations still have no option,
but to outsource the more complicated work.
So industry needs people equipped with a solid grounding in scientific cultural
and economic knowledge combined with soft skills like data analysis, teamwork,
and communication.
It’s also about the ability to actively challenge existing paradigms and to be
comfortable with uncertainty.
There is a sense of urgency around the need for sustainability action in
response to changes in regulation, public pressure and business risks,
as well as to new opportunities.
Entry-level positions include sustainability project officer in companies,
government, and non organized non-government organizations, support development,
delivery, and evaluation of initiatives and programs.
Other opportunities include sustainability consultant.
Someone who carries that carries out research to provide advice on various
sustainability related improvements,
or you could work as a business analyst training officer for compliance
officer at a more senior level with experience and or postgraduate
One can work as a corporate social responsibility or sustainability director, who is
in charge of designing and implementing strategies with respect to corporate
responsibility, environmental, social governance, issues,
responsible investment, and corporate citizenship.
There are other opportunities for more senior people in both large and small
organizations, such as sustainability coordinator,
senior sustainability advisor, or sustainability program manager.
So we want to finish off the presentation by emphasizing UTS has a reputation,
a reputation in producing industry ready graduates.
So to study at UTS means you will be gaining an edge over others when you
go out and compete for jobs as a graduate throughout your combined degree,
you will gain industry exposure from the first year of study through to your
final year of study.
So industry engagement is deeply embedded into your coursework where you will
apply theory to real world issues and scenarios that businesses,
governments and communities are grappling with.
And you will engage with these actors in your projects.
So in the Bachelor of Sustainability and Environment,
we will bring industry experts, rep representatives from the public sector,
NGOs, not-for-profits, startups and local community practitioners into the
classroom via guest lectures and panels, project mentoring,
and promote internship opportunities. And right here at UTS,
we have an immense amount of expertise to also draw from researchers who are
doing work at the forefront of sustainable development. Researchers from the
Institute of sustainable futures, climate justice research center,
the center for social justice and inclusion and our core teaching team as well.
Also value research inspired teaching,
and we are directly engaged in applied research locally and globally in fields
of Marine and fisheries, urban governance, city planning, community development,
and social and cultural sustainability among others. And finally,
at UTS we also have a unit that’s dedicated to fostering entrepreneurial-ism
called UTS startups.
And this is an exciting space for sustainability leaders.
Thank you.
I think we’ll open it to questions.
So we’ve got a question from Molly.
Do I do go in any field studies in this course? Yes. So you do field work,
um, from the very first, uh, year, um, uh, you go on,
um, uh,
you go to a field excursion,
so you gradually build your skills in how to do field work, um,
whether that be quantitative or qualitative, uh,
but as well as skills in community engagement. Kate,
did you want to add anything to that?
Um, no, I think I might have, um,
removed the question from your feed. So am I clicking the wrong button? Um,
just, yeah, we start with the field studies from the first subject,
which I’m teaching at the moment, sustainability in context.
And unfortunately because of the lockdown,
we’re not doing the field trip this this time,
but we will of course do it in future semesters. And it went really well in the,
in the first session this year. And, um, then there were some,
there will be field studies also imagining, um, the,
the professional degrees that students are doing.
Oh, yes, that’s right. And your professional degrees, you will also, okay.
Can you go into city planning sector from this degree.
Kate? Yeah, I, I mentioned you could, um,
there was city planning degrees. I imagine,
particularly if you do one of the business related degrees,
you may then be able to work as a graduate in a city planning area and then do a
post-graduate degree in city planning. But, um,
sustainability definitely fits really well with the,
with city planning as a career.
So city planning is, can be very broad depending on what, what, um,
you could be an actual, you know, surveyor or, uh,
uh, so it’s, uh, it can be broad or a community development,
uh, or in community development. So that’s all in a range of city planning.
So depending on what it is, uh, what aspect,
but definitely an expertise in sustainability would be key or put,
give you that edge to city planning.
We have another question there about the benefit of doing this combined degree,
as opposed to just as a standalone degree. So there’s the,
there is no standalone degree offered at UTS in sustainability environment.
We only offer it as a combined degree,
but if you were to do it the other degree,
so if you just to do a business degree, say, or a health degree, uh,
the benefit is adding the sustainability aspect too to that base
degree. So that, that that’s the benefit.
You get more study, you’re more,
you’ve got more multi-disciplinary skills and you’ve got the ability to work in
the sustainability area.
So what kind of jobs could come out of the management sustainability
combination? Kate, did you want to address that one?
Well, that, um, second last slide we have,
if you go back to that slide. Yeah.
The management plus sustainability degree would pretty much
work for most of those, um, options there. So, uh,
you then to graduate programs and be working as a sustainability project
officer, especially if it’s, um,
any kind of organization really management is relevant for all kinds of
organizations. And I mean, maybe,
maybe not something like heritage planner, possibly,
because that would require a different set of skills,
but almost all of the other ones would mix well with management.
So when was this degree introduced? So this, uh, um,
started last year. So we had our first intake, um, for the degree last year. Um,
the students love it. They really do. And, um, uh, yeah,
it’s been exciting to build, uh, the degree, um,
and as well gain input from their experience and what they’d like to see.
Uh, so yeah, it’s been exciting to introduce this new degree.
And the next question there is about whether the course fits well with social
I think possibly a bit like city planning. Uh,
you might need another graduate degree afterwards,
but possibly the fit with social work and sustainability might be less
connected than city planning. I’m not sure maybe Christine.
I think, I mean, um, yeah, I kind of work in the social field and so, uh,
I do think it connects because increasingly that is kind of,
um, you know, what, what industry is telling us is not,
is that the issues,
not so much the science behind sustainability, but it’s,
um, more the human side, the people side, understanding people,
knowing how to work with people and grappling with the complexity
of, um,
differences across communities and their needs and their priorities and
so on. And so social work, uh, it’s a broad field depending on what you,
what you want to get into. But I think understanding,
cause sustainability initiative, firstly, environmental, um, uh,
problems impact the most on, uh, those who are disadvantaged,
those who are marginalized and so on. And so, um,
sustainability initiatives then need to take into
account, um, these communities more than ever before. So, uh,
I think, um, yeah,
understanding sustainability particularly around kind of sustainability as,
um, social justice and inclusion, uh,
connects very strongly with social work, but yes,
you need to take, uh, you know,
social work is a specific kind of qualification. Uh, and so,
but social work also quite broad in that it could be other things like,
you know, community research or community developments or, um,
but they definitely connected because sustainability is an issue about the
So are there environmental club and is,
are there environmental clubs and societies that UTS? Yes, there’s a few. And,
um, we have been connecting with them, uh, as, uh, the degree with the, um,
the clubs. And so there is actually an active, um,
UTS is very active in terms of sustainability.
It’s very committed to sustainability. Um, they have, uh, a specific,
um, uh, unit that, uh, that, uh,
drives, um, you know,
initiatives that students can get involved in our students. Um,
even just from starting, uh, um, uh,
just starting students who have already been involved in a range of, uh,
sustainability initiatives, um, related to social clubs, uh,
in student clubs and as well, um, UTS as sustainability.
We have time for just one more quick question about the difference between this
degree and doing a science degree with an environmental science major.
The main difference there is the multidisciplinarity, um,
science degree with an environmental science major.
You may have a range of disciplines within science there,
but you’re not going to have the business, um,
and the social and cultural and historical and political, um,
content that you get in this, the combined degree that we’re offering at UTS,
the whole focus of what we would,
what we want this degree to be at UTS is multidisciplinary,
so that you can tackle those complex challenges that are visible
in that matrix of the, um,
the UN sustainable development goals,
where there’s all sorts of things mixed up that are to do with people,
not just the science, so science plus other things.
So that’s all the questions and we’ve come to the end of the session
open for this degree.
So I’d like to thank everyone for attending and wondering if Christine had
anything else to say.
Oh, no, thank you for attending. And we hope, uh,