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University Level Education on Environmental Issues

University Level Education on Environmental IssuesThere has been a constant rise in the need for skilled environmentalists the world over in the wake of the effect of human activities on the environment and drastic changes in global climate. Tertiary institutions have responded to this necessity by developing extensive curricula for training environmental scientists and integrating environmental studies in other courses.

This has resulted in the development of environmental science as a separate discipline in academia and research. However, it is crucial to understand what environmental studies at the university level generally entails.

What is Environmental Education?

Environmental education is generally defined as the study of how man interrelates with his environment, both natural and man-made, and integrates other aspects such as pollution, population growth, resource distribution, technology, conservation, and rural and urban planning to the overall human environment. It seeks to study at depth the factors that influence ecosystems, mental and physical health, population pressures, living and working conditions and the various environmental transformations.

Objectives of Environmental Education

The basic principles of environmental studies aim to achieve the desirable results for learners during and after undertaking the course. They are in line with objectives that were outlined by UNESCO and UNEP in 1975 as concerns environmental education. They are:
  • Sensitivity, to and awareness of the environment
  • Basic understanding and knowledge of the environment, including the various issues and solutions
  • Acquiring attitudes, in having concern for the environment and willingness in protection and conservation of natural resources
  • Evaluation ability, in critical evaluation of various environmental measures to be undertaken and awareness programs
  • Skills, for evaluating and solving environmental issues
  • Participation, regarding being responsible and quick in taking action towards solving environmental problems

Disciplines in Environmental Education

From the above definition of environmental education it is evident that this is a multidisciplinary course that integrates other discipline into one that is the overall environmental science. It is therefore important to classify environmental education into individual disciplines from which concepts that define them can be refined. There is a wide range of disciplines under environmental education from which students can select units that will contribute towards their degrees when they pursue their undergraduate studies.

These disciplines are as follows:
  1. Biology, that is, biological and ecological studies
  2. Physical sciences in mining, chemical and geological processes
  3. Environmental science
  4. Environmental management, such as conservation of natural resources and management
  5. Human geography
  6. Physical geography
  7. Politics in decision making and environmental policy
  8. Psychology, such as environmental and community psychology
  9. Environmental philosophy and ethics
  10. Business, such as nature-based tourism
Different universities have different programs and their combination. It is thus imperative that one does research on programs offered by an institution. Students can then choose to pursue and specialize in these disciplines during post-graduate and doctorate studies.

​University Admission

In order to undertake a course in environmental education one needs to have met the basic academic requirements for a particular institution. Foreign students need to have undergone and passed other examinations such as TOEFL, IELTS and Pearson tests within a specific time period, especially those seeking admission in universities based in places such as Europe and USA. The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) is a crucial academic providers' helpline that can really help in making inquiries concerning university admission.
Source: http://www.ukbaguide.co.uk/

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