Co-creating change for sustainability – our partnerships with students

Dec 19, 2019 | Staff | 0 comments

2019 saw the rise of a clear youth voice for sustainability on the public stage as well as the growth of sustainability focus in the international student community. The 2018 NUS skills survey saw 86% of 6000 UK students calling for universities to actively build sustainability into their entire HE experience.

At UoG our sector leading sustainability programme pioneered this vision not just to green the campus, but to develop new ways of thinking, learning and working to shape a better future for people and planet. This vision was powerfully expressed by NUS President Zamzam Ibrahim at the recent SOS-UK Student Sustainability Summit – read her speech here.

Changing Communities – Changing Perceptions

We’re working in partnership with students to respond to their appetite for positive change and deliver the wider sustainability strategy.

Here are the headlines of how this happens and how you can point interested students to get more involved this semester:

Live Smart

Paid students work in professional roles with the sustainability team to deliver this programme which links immediate student concerns like money, employability, wellbeing and belonging with bigger picture sustainability issues. Live Smart this year includes:

1. The Community Challenge – students can sign up as groups or individuals, to take on challenges and win cash prizes, working with community partners such as Gloucester Cathedral or Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, on local action for the UN Global Sustainability Development Goals. Find out more here.

2. Student-led blog and social media – student-created practical tips and information on ways we can all boost wellbeing, save money and connect with our communities whilst protecting the planet. Read the blog here.

3. Influencers – in partnership with the Green Team society, students gain rewards and develop skills for supporting communications, action projects or strategy developments with the Sustainability Team. Find out more here.

4. Events – Gloucester Cathedral will host a celebration event on March 18th bringing students and community partners together to share their local challenge results for sustainability. Watch the short film of last year’s event here.

Green Team society

Grassroots work such as the Cheltenham climate action are being led by the SU Green Team society, raising awareness and bringing student interests into the wider world of sustainability inside and outside the University. The Green Team have lots in the pipeline for 2020 including film nights, upcycling workshops and climate cafés – find out more in their short film here.

Students Union

SU operate their sustainability committee and work closely with the Sustainability Team to improve their sustainability practice (e.g. through the removal of plastic bags at Freshers’ Fayre), as well as push for specific changes prioritised by the SU (e.g. action on single-use plastics within our catering service).

Education for Sustainability

Course teams are increasingly active in designing sustainability learning experiences into the curriculum across academic schools, and innovation projects in education for sustainability are funded by the LIFT programme.

Find out more:

  • Students Sustainability Leaflet – with practical tips and signposts for how student can get involved during their time with us. Read here.
  • Sustainability web pages – with more about the experiences students can gain and the wider sustainability developments across the university. See here.
  • Social media – with stories of sustainability at the University and in the wider world. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.