Trends in education in environmental assessment: a comparative analysis of European EA-related Master programmes
The international take-up and rapid development of environmental assessment (EA) systems has been driven by the introduction of EA legal requirements and by the advancement of methodological aspects published in the EA literature. However, despite the existence of common legal frameworks and methodological guidelines, the way in which EA is practised and conceived within a multidisciplinary context varies. There are a range of interpretations defining the way in which EA should be used and how EA fits within different disciplines; in Europe, this variation is reflected in the formative and educational programmes offered by universities in EU Member States. This paper identifies existing trends in EA education by providing an overview of the ways in which EA is taught in Europe. A comparative analysis of 64 EA-related Master programmes representing nine EU Member States is conducted. Furthermore, the paper aims to set the basis for a discussion on the different social science and physical science understandings of EA revealed by the research findings. We recommend that interlinkages between these two understandings be improved and suggest that this could occur through the introduction of formal EA education, enhanced collaboration between different types of departments, and holistic approaches to teaching and learning.
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