While opportunities to apply learning and research on and off campus are not unique to sustainability, those of us leading next generation sustainability for next generation learning unashamedly embrace their promise. Often, but not exclusively referred to as a Living Lab, the opportunities comprise of collaborative working that has the potential to penetrate all aspects of operational, academic, student, staff and community development for social, environmental and economic benefit. This challenges traditional ways of working and aims to promote positive partnerships across disciplines and sectors.
It is our responsibility to the students, institutions and communities we serve to support the development of pedagogies and research opportunities that enhance employability skills, contribute towards graduate attainment and make societal progress for sustainability in an ever-changing world.
EAUC is delighted to partner with NUS and lead the creation of more opportunities for sustainability focussed applied research and learning. Universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland must be resources for an unknown future, and for us, co-created, cross-institution and cross-sector applied thinking can be at the heart of solutions to campus and societal problems.
This guidance is aimed at both supporting and sharing knowledge through case study examples with tertiary education staff across all areas of an institution. It provides guidance for those looking to understand, initiate or embed impactful applied real-world learning and research opportunities through transformative pedagogies and partnership working. It also offers a point of reference for those looking to draw on examples from others when developing their existing applied learning and research opportunities within their institution.
The practices shared in this document reflect the great breadth of approaches taken in tertiary education to offer Living Labs style teaching, learning and research opportunities. This guidance aims to share experiences and implementation methods used by others rather than provide a prescriptive framework to be replicated. Learnings and case studies shared have been informed by desk-based research and interviews with key individuals working to drive forward impactful applied learning and research opportunities. We are often told by colleagues in the sector that better understanding of challenges and the journey to try and overcome these would be useful learning. In this guidance document, we attempt to achieve this.
You can download the full guide below or view it here.