Learning innovation for tomorrow

Learning Innovation for Tomorrow (LIFT) is our professional support programme to bring transformative, futures-oriented learning into course experiences. LIFT is led by the Sustainability Team and supported by the Academic Development Unit, to deliver curriculum change as part of our sustainability strategy.

LIFT offers funding and guidance for course teams to experiment in Education for Sustainability (EfS). It also supports community learning partnerships through RCE Severn, our UN Regional Centre of Expertise in sustainability education.

Changing learning experiences

LIFT is grounded in principles of Education for Sustainability and provides opportunities for our academics and students to extend insights beyond their discipline, to educate and to collaborate on sustainability from a broader professional and societal viewpoint.

LIFT projects deliver on curriculum enrichment priorities like creating innovative assessments, using technology for learning and boosting research-teaching transfer. Project leaders are encouraged to actively involve students and partners in shaping their goals, using co-creation methodology.

To find out more about LIFT funding and how it works see our FAQs

See our quick guide to applying LIFT principles in learning experiences

Browse our student web pages for more sustainability curriculum experiences

LIFT stories are shared annually at open public events and our Festival of Learning:

LIFT funding in action

LIFT project leaders share their projects annually through open public events and the annual Festival of Learning at the university.

Lift Lab - advert for educational experiments in sustainability
Sustainability showcase - advert for showcase event 2017

Examples of LIFT activities across our subject communities:

Performing Arts

Performing Arts and Media students developed an innovative and immersive multimedia storytelling methodology on the theme of ‘survival’. Students created narratives to understand and improve prospects for sustainable futures, working with young people through a local youth theatre group. The project created education resources and workshop methods to use in wider comunity learning activities.

Image of children at a local youth theatre


Forward Thinking event connected academic staff with local organisations to build new partnerships on sustainability, with resilience scenario workshops on positive business impact for the UN global goals. The event featured sustainability in leadership development, financial decision-making, social impact businesses, marketing and retail, entrepreneurship and the experience economy

Image of The Forward Thinking Event in a classroom with local businesses and academic staff


Students researched and designed digital and public exhibitions that explored local history and sustainability as part of the Cotswold Centre for History and Heritage. Assignments reflected on examples such as wartime experiences and women’s suffrage to analyse community impacts and support future sustainability, through conservation and regeneration work.

Image of wartime Cheltenham


Connecting Restorative Justice practice with Education for Sustainability, in collaboration with Ulster University in Northern Ireland and Humber College in Toronto, Canada. Students expanded their global perspective through curriculum activities with local stakeholders in three cultural settings and political contexts, experiencing empowerment and dialogue techniques in action.

Image of students from UoG and Ulster University


Using a critical dialogue group, staff and students explored the use of blockchain and disruptive technology to respond to sustainability as creative professionals. With guest input from industry, they created learning materials and app concepts to reduce negative impacts in music production and consumption, while supporting creative, financial and professional benefits for entrepreneurs.

Image of a music production dashboard


Using kindergarten experiences of recent graduates working in China, this project developed the cultural lens and sustainability focus of the Early Childhood Studies degree. It used views of current students and EfS frameworks, to develop curriculum changes that better equip students for international work attuned to sustainability and increase their positive impact as educators.

Image of teacher and school children


Using Public Sociology methods, this project on effective, equitable community development, used ‘sustainable communities’ frameworks and participatory research in students’ local areas, to develop proposals for a community festival. It actively involved students with community ‘co-learners’ and insights from global community development networks, resulting in a report to local authorities on the positive impact potential for local people.

Image of railings saying St Pauls


The sports coaching and development team delivered an employability and enterprise challenge that saw students developing independent learning and enterprise skills. They provided sustainability-oriented responses to scenarios from local organisations, to introduce sustainability ideas in practice such as an Education for Sustainability training package for schools and community learning.

Image of sport coaching and development team working with junior school children


A cross-professional team of accounting, international business and law students devised a not-for-profit business model to support an established small-scale company in Vietnam. Using insights from the company and its focus on fair trade and self-reliance, the student team developed strategies to reach into UK sales using online methods and tested options for this type of enterprise, in its legal and policy context.

Image of ten pound note and some one pound coins

Social Work

This Virtual Reality saw three academic schools develop innovative training resources for Social Work that place people into challenging scenarios they meet in practice. The project supported sustainability action through resource efficient use of technology and its evaluation and training insights, uncovered ways that social work professional training can better integrate the wider global sustainable development agenda.

Image of student wearing a virtual reality headset
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