Connecting with others
Students and the Students’ Union at UWE
During 2015, UWE Bristol and the Students’ Union at UWE worked closely with the University of Bristol and Bristol Students' Union on a HEFCE-funded project called Green Capital Student Capital. This project involved both Students' Unions proactively establishing and promoting opportunities for students to get actively involved in sustainability. Key lessons from this project have been published in Bristol Method module.
Public engagement and outreach
Public engagement activities are well supported at UWE Bristol. Examples of large sustainability-related public engagement events which UWE Bristol leads on are the Bristol Bright Night, Bristol Festival of Nature and Bristol Food Connections Festival.
Staff and students at UWE Bristol run an annual Your Green Futures event. This is a free event for schools across South Gloucestershire and Bristol. Through a range of interactive workshops and an exhibitor hall, young students have the opportunity to explore, with businesses as well as UWE Bristol academics and students, the growing job opportunities in a low carbon, resilient economy. 440 students, from 15 local secondary schools, had the chance to work alongside 34 businesses and 16 university students. The students who attended completed an evaluation form. Before the event, 87% of students believed it was important that we create a low carbon, sustainable future; whereas after the event 93% agreed.
Funding is available for staff and student outreach projects via the Faculty of Environment and Technology Outreach award. This award offers prizes to winning applications from academic staff, research teams, student societies or postgraduate students. The prize money can be used to buy out staff time or pay for project materials. The projects must be aimed at public engagement and outreach could include activities in schools, special events, social media, or community projects. It might be led by or involved academic staff and/or students. The impacts might include contributing towards widening participation aims, recruitment of potential students, skills for current students and communicating research progress.
UWE Bristol has a large number of internal and external communication channels. Sustainability features regularly and prominently across all of these channels. Further, sustainability specific communication channels, including Facebook pages, twitter accounts, email lists, Sharepoint sites, newsletter and networks have been established to ensure complete coverage of audiences and platforms.
Via the office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Environment and Sustainability, UWE Bristol plays a significant role in supporting the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in its education for sustainable development work through chairing the HEA Education for Sustainable Development Advisory Group. The University is also supporting the sector through the Quality Assurance Association and HEA guidance on education for sustainable development.
Case studies of our ESD related activities are shared both internally and externally. For a selection of examples, see the UWE Bristol Research Repository and search for Education for Sustainable Development. This search will identify case studies relating to UWE Bristol's formal and informal curriculum activity and whole-institutional approach to ESD. These case studies are freely available and many represent presentations which have been made both internally at UWE Bristol but also at national and international ESD related events.