New research into the state of sustainability in our education sector

Monday 19-10-2015 - 14:31

Students have never been clearer about wanting sustainability at the heart of their education experience. But is the sector delivering on this demand?

We’re proud to have published brand new data on the state of sustainability across further and higher education, after conducting a survey with staff from across the sector. This will act as a baseline from which we can measure progress – or regression – in the years to come.

With the government’s anti-sustainability and anti-renewables rhetoric become stronger and stronger, this acts as a rallying call for our unions to work with their institutions on making improvements on all aspects of sustainability.

Our research, conducted in partnership with EAUC, UCU, AoC and College Development Network found that:

  • Only a quarter of respondents overall report that sustainability is a strategic priority.
  • University staff indicate doubts regarding the likelihood of achieving carbon reduction targets at their institutions, with two fifths saying they are unlikely or very unlikely to meet targets.
  • Action on teaching and learning for sustainability is varied, with a quarter of Higher Education sustainability staff indicating that they do not have any plans, projects or campaigns in this area at their institution.
  • Just 16% of overall respondents rate performance on ethical investments as ‘very good’ or ‘good’.
  • A lack of financial and staff resources are seen as the biggest barriers to acting for sustainability with support from the highest levels seen as the most important way of overcoming these barriers.
  • There are concerns over reductions in budget for sustainability, with a third of college sustainability staff respondents and a fifth of university sustainability staff respondents expecting a decrease in budget.

Read the full findings here.



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