Climate University: Teaching and learning for a sustainable future

Climate University

The Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) talks us through the online learning opportunities available at Climate University to tackle the challenges of climate change and sustainability

Climate change and the sustainability crisis are the grand challenges of today and need urgent actions in all sectors of society. The problems are interdisciplinary and wide. How can competences in society be built quickly and on a large scale to be able to tackle these challenges? Knowledge needs to be transferred between research, education and working life. Digitalisation offers new and fast ways to transfer this knowledge between academia, schools, and public as well as the private sector of the society.

Climate University is a collaboration network of 11 universities in Finland that aims at tackling the challenges of climate change and the sustainability crisis by providing open online education. Climate University has co-created new open online courses on climate change, sustainability, systems thinking, leadership, new solutions and communication that are available for all universities in Finland and abroad to utilise, as well as all citizens to study. The new courses, as well as a module of 35 credits (ECTS), will be available also via open universities by 2021. In collaboration with the schools and the working life, workshops have been organised all around Finland to co-create new teaching and improve teachers’ competencies in taking climate and sustainability aspects into their teaching.

As part of the practice of Climate University, participants tackle real-life problems to offer real implementable solutions that deal with climate change or sustainable development. Learning materials and best practices of sustainability education is collected under the title Climate University and is available on the project website.

Climate University welcome you to explore and be part of the discussion on how climate change and sustainability should be taught in higher education!

Climate University massive open online courses (MOOCs)

All Climate University course materials is open for everyone – for students as well as teachers. The new courses will be made to the platform that enables course copies for different universities. The Climate University work is under Licence CC-BY-SA. Below is a short introduction to some of the Climate University MOOCs. is an intensive course in collaboration with the Universities of Helsinki, Tampere, Turku and Aalto. The course will be open to students in the spring semester 2021. approaches global grand challenges from the perspective of interconnected Earth and human social systems. It provides the students with important systems thinking tools, which assist in making sense of the complex global phenomena like climate change. They also help the students in recognising leverage points for intentional systems change and in reflecting on their own agency within various systems.

Statistical tools for climate and atmospheric science is the course where you learn how to find and use open atmospheric and climate data, how to conduct statistical analyses on the data and how to report your findings. is a course that covers the basics of ecological, economical, social and cultural sustainability in the time of climate change. It will also be later available in English. is a course on the basics of the circular economy and is available at the open university of Helsinki. You can find the materials at is a course on the basics of climate change you can take in the Universities of Helsinki open via the open university. You can find the learning material from

Read more about the new Climate University courses and workshop events from its website:

For more information, contact Dr. Laura Riuttanen, University of Helsinki (INAR, Physics).

Contributor Profile

Academician, Academy Professor
Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR)
Phone: +358 40 596 2311
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