One of the key missions of The Baltic University Programme (BUP) is the creation of courses from different academic disciplines with both theoretical and practical focuses. The BUP courses are created as massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are unique in that they focus on sustainability in a Baltic Sea Region context.
Sustainable Food Systems in the Baltic Sea Region
This is an introductory course on the history, social, economic, and ecological aspects of food production in the Baltic Sea Region. The course also focuses on future challenges, such as food security and climate change.
The course consists of four parts.
- The history of agriculture in the Baltic Sea Region
- Ecological, economic and social aspects of food systems
- The challenges of sustainable food systems - now and tomorrow
- Examples from the region
Climate Change in the Baltic Sea Region
During this course, climate change experts from universities in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany and Russia will teach you the basic knowledge about climate change from the Baltic Sea Region perspective. You will be learning about: (1) basic climatology, (2) the evidences of a warming climate, (3) the human causes of climate change, (4) the certainties and uncertainties of climate change research, (5) impacts and risks associated with a warming of the climate and (6) interdisciplinary solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
New courses under development
Currently, the BUP is updating course material as a response to new research, relevance in examples, and the digital development. Focus is on developing full course and course modules connected to the BUP themes. All courses are designed and will be offered as massive open online courses (MOOCs). This means that they are accessed independent of time and place, as full distance courses. Students and teachers are able to take the course whenever, as a self-paced learning course. There are multiple courses under development, all will be a part of the BUP Course Platform.
Courses that are under development:
- The Baltic Sea Region in the Period of Global Transition
- Exploring Sustainability – Definitions, Theories and Perspectives
- The Baltic Sea Environment – Challenges and Solutions
- Sustainable Tourism in the Baltic Sea Region
- Internationalization – virtual exchange
- Urban-Rural Systems
The BUP working model
In developing these BUP courses, participants work in the BUP working model, which means to work in inter disciplinary and intercultural teams of co-operation. Colleagues from different participating universities, representing different disciplines and academic cultures, contribute with their knowledge and experiences in developing common BUP courses and course material. This way of working offers opportunities to learn from each other and different perspectives as well as different academic cultures.
First and foremost, these courses are open to all who are interested in them. They are completely free with no previous knowledge or pre-requisites necessary. The BUP therefore welcomes all to take these courses- students, teachers, researchers, administrators and all members of the public. Please note that the level of the courses on the BUP Course Platform are designed at the undergraduate level, however, with teaching from renowned experts across the Baltic Sea Region and vivid examples, the courses should be of interest to all.
Future uses of the MOOC courses
There is an additional opportunity too for those that are currently teaching courses at universities; the chance to integrate the lectures, literature and quizzes from the courses into your teaching. The material can be used in whole or as part of a course, for example, there are many example lectures that may prove useful.
The BUP also see further opportunities out from the material developed for each MOOC course. For example, users are able to develop more advanced courses, and to give the student credits by adding material, assignments, seminars etc. These initiatives must then be taken from each BUP participating universities. In this case we will also be able to promote virtual exchange co-operations between BUP participating universities when running credit bearing courses.
Previous course material
Since it's start, the BUP have developed course material, focusing on sustainability and democracy. An overview of the material developed between 1991 and 2017, can be found on the web page BUP course material developed 1991 - 2017.