Education for Sustainability is about not just providing expert knowledge of sustainability, but developing graduate skills to apply it to all professions, and empower students to drive system change. This section shares a selection of the new developments in our course portfolio to provide these dynamic educational experiences, and the student and graduate successes EfS leads to.

Biophilic design learning with Hong Kong partners

Photo caption: Biophilic design learning with Hong Kong partners. Credit LCCM 

Student success

MA Landscape Architecture student, Bevis Hughes won Chelsea Gold

Photo caption: MA Landscape Architecture student, Bevis Hughes won Chelsea Gold

MA Landscape Architecture student won Chelsea Gold

Bevis Hughes won Gold for his exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show. The exhibit was crafted from a restored Cumbrian bog to demonstrate the importance of peat bogs and the environmental damage gardeners are causing to the planet by using peat compost in outdoor spaces.

International success for Engineering students

Engineering students achieved 2nd place in the Dassault Sustainability Challenge: Shape the World of Tomorrow. This was an international competition involving over 150 different teams from 30 countries. The brief within the ‘Interdisciplinary Systems Design’ module asked students to develop solutions to global sustainability challenges. The successful UoG team designed a ‘smart plug’ to help the NHS collect energy consumption data to better decisions on how to save carbon and money.

National awards for student responses to the climate crisis

Landscape Architecture students Imogen Reeves and Courtney Brodrick won the 2021 National LDA Design Bursary of £1000 and a work placement opportunity. The LDA Design Competition challenged designers to make the places where people live more resilient and innovative. Imogen produced a design entitled Something Borrowed, Something Blue that sets out a vision for a space that blends the tranquillity of a pre-industrial rural idyll with the energy of a modern city. Courtney’s design The Honeybourne Line looked to enrich local ecology and creative new habits along a former disused railway track in Cheltenham.

Gloucestershire Natural History Prize for student dissertation

Luke Hunter, BSc Ecology and Environmental Science student, won the Gloucestershire Naturalist prize for the best undergraduate dissertation poster on natural history in Gloucestershire. Luke’s poster focused on exploring woodland habitat preferences in overwintering UK birds, and he received a £200 cash prize as well as membership to the Gloucestershire Naturalists society.

Marketing students runners up in world-wide Ericsson Innovation Awards

Ranggada Prabu Sadewa and Bradley Warren were recognised for their integrated multi-environment rod sensor and AI-based system that allows users of an app to create optimal planting conditions indoors or outdoors. The team were awarded 15,000 euros to create portable planting kits for farmers and horticultural consumers.

Product Design student highly commended in James Dyson awards

Ethan Lee was recognised in the Product and Structural Design category for creating the world’s first high-end artisan lampshade from used cigarettes. The product aimed to address the plastic waste from the 4.5 trillion cigarettes disposed of each year.

Course innovations

E-learning course selected for UN digital platform

A free E-learning module has been selected as first contribution from a UK university to feature on the UN:SDG Learn platform that helps learners advance their sustainability skills and deliver outcomes for the UN Global Goals. The innovative data capability building module Opening the Appetite: Data Skills for Global Development was developed by Dr Rachel Bennett, Academic Course Leader for International Relations.

New MA in Education, Ethics and Leadership

The School of Education and Humanities launched a new MA with a focus on ethical approaches to leadership in education. The programme reflects the latest developments affecting the future of education, including the need for Education for Sustainability as a response to the complex global issues humanity is facing.

Biophilic design learning with Hong Kong partners

Architecture Construction and Environment students took part in ‘Spark2021’, an immersive design workshop in partnership with the Technological and Higher Education Institute (THEI) of Hong Kong. The workshop encouraged students to explore cross-cultural views in how they re-imagine public space using biophilic design. They explored how ‘Cultural Biophilia’ influences the way people visualise and design architectural buildings, urban landscapes and the objects around them.

Online course featured as national best practice

‘The Stories we Live By’ online course developed by Professor Arran Stibbe was featured as a good practice guide on Education for Sustainability by the sector education agencies AdvanceHE and the Quality Assurance Agency. It focuses on the role of language in shaping a sustainable society and challenging unsustainability, with the content also featuring as a compulsory module in our English Literature degree.

Educational films to Decolonise Learning

We continue to support to our Decolonising Learning initiative, having funded the creation of new short films through our sustainability learning fund, as decolonising teaching practices recognises the role of culture in achieving sustainable and equitable development.

Graduate impact

Rebecca Rees and Kane Peters – Music Business Graduates 2021
Photo caption: Rebecca Rees and Kane Peters – Music Business Graduates 2021

Winners at UK Music Awards 2021

Rebecca Rees and Kane Peters Music Business Graduates 2021 Rebecca was awarded ‘Outstanding Music Graduate’ for devising and implementing a new methodology and audience awareness campaign around environmental sustainability which was adopted by as a pilot by Live Nation. Kane achieved runner up in the same category for his work with Live Nation mapping and reducing the carbon footprint of festivals.

Encouraging conservationists of colour

Tolga Atkins
Animal Biology Graduate 2020

Since graduating, Tolga has worked as a conservation biologist, writer, and photojournalist. As a young nature-lover, Tolga saw limited role models of his skin colour, so as a graduate he is working to encourage more BAME+ representation in the conservation and sustainability sector, publishing this thought piece in 2022 on his personal story.

Climate Action at Hampshire County Council

Katie Rossiter Geography graduate 2021 As a student, Katie completed an internship module working with Cheltenham Borough Council leading a scoping study to assess if Cheltenham could become a ’15 minute city’. This, positioned her to land a role as Climate Change Technical Support Officer with Hampshire County Council where she is now working with carbon data to drive action for a sustainable future across Hampshire.

Forest School for children – Badgerwood Adventures

Becky Poulter-Jewsen and Mindy Pickering
Early Years Childhood Studies graduates (2013-14 and 2012-13)

Becky and Mindy have been engaging local families with children under 5 years of age with Forest School sessions at Oxstalls campus. The play-based sessions support social development and learning through nature-based activities that encourage appreciation and awareness of environmental issues. The initiative which started in September 2021 is also supported by current Early Childhood Studies students who gain work placement hours from the project.

Reporting on the UN Global Goals

This report meets our annual reporting commitments on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an institutional signatory to the tertiary sector SDG Accord.

Throughout this annual report, we record how the actions and results shown in this report contribute to the delivery of the UN SDGs. The actions on this page contribute to the specific goals marked below. For more information click here.

The Global Goals - No Poverty
The Global Goals - Zero Hunger
The Global Goals - Good health and well-being
The Global Goals - Quality Education
The Global Goals - Gender equality
The Global Goals - Clean water and sanitation
The Global Goals - Affordable and clean energy
The Global Goals - Decent work and economic growth
The Global Goals - Industry, innovation and infrastructure
The Global Goals - Reduced Inequalities
The Global Goals - Sustainable cities and communities
The Global Goals - Responsible consumption and production
The Global Goals - Climate action
The Global Goals - Life below water
The Global Goals - Life on land
The Global Goals - Peace and justice, strong institutions
The Global Goals - Partnerships for the goals
The Global Goals: For Sustainable Development