Wednesday 24-06-2015 - 15:14
One of the main aims of Students’ Green Fund was to embed sustainability into the core purpose of education. We’re succeeding.
The University of Newcastle has given their students’ union £135,000 to continue their incredible sustainability work developed as part of Students’ Green Fund.
Institutions have seen the massive impact Students’ Green Fund has had on their students’ experience and the wider communities, and many are moving to continue funding the work themselves.
This is an incredible demonstration of the value of the sustainability work being carried out by thousands of students across the UK, and how universities and colleges recognise how clearly it enhances the educational experience of their students.
We’re moving way beyond the time when sustainability work was seen as a volunteering opportunity which a students’ union might run if it had capacity. It’s becoming an expected and integral part of tertiary education, nurtured by strengthening partnerships between students’ unions and their institutions.
At the University of Newcastle Students’ Union, we’ve seen the first ever student-run sustainable microbrewery, food growing and farmers’ markets on campus, and woodland cultivation and conservation, among much more.
Supporting this work with such an incredible amount of money, the university has sent a clear signal about the value of this work, and will allow it to thrive and expand in the years to come.
“We find that students who volunteer, whether as a structured part of a course or independently, develop their skills in a way that can be very attractive to employers, said pro-vice chancellor Suzanne Cholerton. “It can also offer opportunities for students to apply what they have learned through their studies to real-life situations”
“Extending activities like these will benefit not only our local community but also the students themselves.”
This shows that sustainability isn’t something peripheral to the educational experience. It’s got to be at the core of our campuses, curriculums and communities – and this announcement from the University of Newcastle proves that universities understand this as much as us.
With £135,000 of new funding, and the dedicated support from their university, the University of Newcastle Students’ Union are transforming the role of sustainability across higher education.