In 2005, Leuphana University was honored with the UNESCO Chair in Higher Education for Sustainable Development. The aim was to integrate sustainable principles into university research and teaching while fostering global collaboration with other universities. Professor Dr. Daniel Fischer assumed this chair in 2023.

What role does sustainable development play in higher education? How can students - in addition to the content of their respective subject studies - be taught a holistic and responsible understanding of science that incorporates sustainability aspects? What competencies do they need to assess the impact of their actions on future generations and other regions of the world and thus be able to make responsible decisions for the future? And how can appropriate teaching and learning formats be integrated into university curricula? These are the questions addressed by the UNESCO Chair "Higher Education for Sustainable Development".

UNESCO Chairs worldwide and in Germany

Presently, the UNESCO Chairs network comprises over 850 UNESCO Chairs and more than 45 UNITWIN networks spanning across 110 countries, united in their commitment to advancing UNESCO's objectives in the realms of science and education.

In Germany there are 17 UNESCO Chairs. They are characterized by their exceptional research and teaching within UNESCO's designated fields. Their guiding principles encompass international collaboration, particularly across North-South and North-South-South dimensions, along with the promotion of intercultural exchange. By fostering a more equitable distribution, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge worldwide, UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN networks contribute significantly to the promotion of sustainable development. For more information on the UNESCO Chair in Germany, please follow this link.

Daniel Fischer ©Leuphana
Daniel Fischer

Chairholder Daniel Fischer is a professor of Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Studies at Leuphana University Lüneburg. His research revolves around exploring how more sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns can be fostered through communication and learning. He employs interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to understand the evolution and transformation of consumption patterns over time and in various cultural contexts, as well as the role of communication processes therein. His keen interest lies in intervention research. In recent research projects with his SuCo2 research group (, he has investigated how innovative practices such as mindfulness, storytelling, or citizen science can disrupt consumption routines and enhance individuals' reflexivity. In line with an educational tradition, his work aims to empower people to reshape their relationships with consumer societies they are born into, grown up in, and socialized within industrialized societies. Prior to joining Leuphana, Daniel Fischer served as an Assistant Professor in Education for Sustainable Development at Arizona State University (USA) and an Associate Professor in Consumer Communication and Sustainability at Wageningen University (Netherlands).


Partners´ meeting in Heraklion, Greece ©Svenja Loos
Partners´ meeting in Heraklion, Greece
Activity ©Svenja Loos
Activities during the P4F Partners´ Meeting in Heraklion
John Bhurekeni on his research stay ©John Bhurekeni
John Bhurekeni from Rhodes University, on his research stay in Lüneburg

International Partner Network of the UNESCO Chair in Higher Education for Sustainable Development

University of Crete

Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development

Heidelberg University of Education

Rhodes University

York University