Mapping the CDIO syllabus to the UNESCO key competencies for sustainability

Anders Rosén, Kristina Edström, Lena Gumaelius, Anna-Karin Högfeldt, Audun Gröm, Reidar Lyng, Mads Nygaard, Peter Munkebo Hussmann, Martin Vigild, Thomas Fruergaard Astrup, Meeri Karvinen, Marko Keskinen, Maria Knutson Wedel, Ulrika Lundqvist, Johan Malmqvist

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
362 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, a framework of key competencies for sustainability defined by UNESCO is used to evaluate the relevance of the CDIO Syllabus for promoting engineering education for sustainable development. The evaluation is performed in two steps. First, topics, terms and concepts in the CDIO Syllabus that correspond s to the different UNESCO key competencies are identified. The second step is a qualitative discussion where areas of strong mapping are highlighted and aspects that could be better visualized or strengthened in or added to, the Syllabus is identified. Differences in definitions of various concepts between the CDIO Syllabus and the UNESCO key competencies and the overall relation between the two frameworks are discussed. It is concluded that the CDIO Syllabus is rather well aligned with the UNESCO framework, however several opportunities (not to say needs) for strengthening the Syllabus in relation to the key competencies are identified. The UNESCO key competencies are found to be useful instruments for scrutinizing and updating the CDIO Syllabus. Other opportunities for knowledge and methods transfer between the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) domain and the Engineering Education domain are identified. The paper is proposed to be used as basis for updating the CDIO Syllabus into a version 3.0 for maintaining its relevance in a changing world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th International CDIO Conference, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, June 25-27, 2019
EditorsJens Bennedsen, Aage Birkkjaer Lauritsen, Kristina Edström, Natha Kuptasthien, Janne Roslöf, Robert Songer
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7507-459-4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational CDIO Conference - Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 25 Jun 201927 Jun 2019
Conference number: 15

Publication series

NameProceedings of the international CDIO conference
ISSN (Electronic)2002-1593


ConferenceInternational CDIO Conference


  • CDIO Syllabus
  • key competencies
  • sustainable development
  • ESD
  • standards 1-3, 5, 7-9


Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping the CDIO syllabus to the UNESCO key competencies for sustainability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this