Metropolitan College (MC) runs in collaboration with University of East London (UEL) the validated programme BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education. Sustainable Development Goals have a central role in the programme of studies with many of them being addressed in the everyday academic life, but also during the professional practice of the students.
The impact and value of this collaboration has been of great importance to key stakeholders, as well as to the local community. To elaborate, immediate stakeholders such as staff and students have directly and indirectly benefited since this institution offers employment and an open and safe place to study and offer knowledge and experience, thus supporting personal and professional development. Professional practice is an asset valuable not only to BA Early Childhood Education students, but to local early childhood care institutions as well. Other local businesses also gain from the presence of students in the area (safety, consumption) (SDG 4, 8, 11). In the context of the day to day function, BA Early Childhood Education students are encouraged to use public transportation (travelling to and from early childhood care institutions), all unnecessary commute is limited through online meetings and not only the Faculty of Education and Human Sciences, but the College as well, has limited the use of paper and plastic to the minimum possible (SDG 11, 12, 13). Studying at Metropolitan College is an alternative to many students, thus widening the opportunities of adults to access tertiary education. What’s more, the College supports students with special educational needs, acquisition of academic writing and computer skills is cared for by specialized services open to all students and psychological care is also provided to all students, upon request (SDG 3, 4, 5, 8, 10). Focusing on particular modules, the Faculty of Education and Human Sciences offers many sessions that build and advance skills, and competencies that foster and support Sustainable Development Goals. More particularly, in module Mental Wealth: Academic & Professional skills for Life 1 & 2 the students enhance digital skills, work on issues related to emotional intelligence, collaboration and solidarity (SDG 3, 4, 8). In the module Exploring Children’s social contexts they learn about the diversity of childhood and in Introduction to Human Rights Education they study children’s rights through the UNCRC and practise human rights (SDG 4, 5, 10, 11, 16). In module Social Justice and Intercultural education, they study inclusion, discuss and learn to trace different aspects of racism, discrimination and biases and learn how to lead classrooms which are open, just, and inclusive. In the context of the module Volunteering, students learn the importance of the Non- Governmental sector and the value of voluntary work. They are acquainted with NGO’s and organisations that work with and for children. In the context of all the aforementioned modules, various excursions, educational visits and activities are organised. During these students gather goods and organise educational activities for children (SDG 4, 5, 10, 11, 16, 17).