Green Gown Awards 2015 Student Engagement - University of Bristol and UWE - Finalist

Tags: sustainability | green gown awards | university | Student Engagement | community | collaboration | volunteering

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Student Capital: Green Capital: Unleashing the power of Bristol Students

This HEFCE supported project demonstrates the capacity for students to contribute to transforming the city in which they are studying.

By working together, two student unions and their Universities, the city and a partnership of over 800 local organisations have unleashed the energy of the 10% of the city population who are students deliver over 1000,000 hours a year of student volunteering to help with sustainability transformation in the city.

It has transformed perceptions of the student body and their role in the city, capturing the imagination of city-leaders, businesses, communities, policy-makers and Higher Education institutions.

Through a cross university, pan city engagement it has increased visibility,  facilitated brokerage of new relationships and created a step change in the scale and focus of student sustainability, and is a vital part of transforming the city.   

Top 3 learnings

1 There is a win-win from city wide engagement. Students benefit greatly from engagement in sustainability projects beyond the University in the wider city increasing their sense of belonging– and the city benefits from student energy and the creativity of co-production

2 The tipping point in getting strategic change may be closer than you think – here the step change has come far sooner than we could have hoped

3 Networked approaches can overcome many of the challenges of partnership working (even when there are 800 organisations in the network), in particular the risk of individual partnerships coming and going.

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