Green Gown Awards 2016 - Enterprise and Employability - University of Gloucestershire - Finalist

Tags: sustainability | green gown awards | enterprise and employability | University of Gloucestershire

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Taking a SIP: students learn the real-world taste of sustainability

The SIP (Sustainability Internships Programme) offers students a taste of professional life that satisfies the emerging thirst for sustainability skills across professions. This new initiative offers internship experiences in a wide range of subjects and work environments, flavoured with Education for Sustainability (EfS) principles. In its pilot year 2015-16, 16 students took a SIP, working on unique projects on and off campus, with University departments and external partners of UNU RCE Severn.

The impacts of these tailored projects were significant, helping to advance sustainability in a range of teams, organisations and communities. The experiences for students are transformative, building their confidence, change skills and ability to interpret and apply sustainability in the real world and make links with their studies. SIP project outcomes have exceeded expectations and the SIP has been recognised for its contribution to youth capacity building by winning a UN University RCE Global Outstanding Flagship Project Award.

Top 3 learnings

1 We recognise the value of empowering our students to develop and apply sustainability skills and knowledge through bespoke and relevant projects, helping them to become future-facing graduates with real and tested experience in this area.
2 Students demonstrate huge energy and originality as catalysts for change within our institution and our wider community, with the benefits being experienced not just by students but improving professional sustainability practice in the host organisations.
3 Giving students the independence to take responsibility for projects whilst supporting them with personal bespoke mentoring is a recipe for positive impacts at all levels

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