Green Gown Awards 2016 Research and Development: Student Alex Lerczak Highly Commended

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Alex Lerczak MSc, University of Chester

Two years ago the University embarked on a journey to create an enabling environment in which sustainability can thrive within the curriculum. Small pockets of good practice and examples of sustainability in the curriculum existed, but there was no clear picture of activity across the University.

Alex’s research was instrumental in catalysing a period of curriculum change at the University. He focussed on staff and student perceptions to Sustainability; presenting the results to the Curriculum Innovation Lab. Gaining support of senior staff to undertake a wider review of the curriculum and determine the sustainability curriculum baseline.

The University achieved NUS Responsible Futures accreditation, developed projects for final year students to explore the attitudes of their peers– surveying more than 700 students. Work Based Learning students worked across the institution to develop an interactive game to be used as part of induction and establishing a network for staff to collaborate on sustainability related teaching and research projects across Faculties.

Top 3 learnings

1 Provide opportunities for students to engage with sustainability within their curriculum and inform the recommendations for the University

2 Let the students lead – give them a voice, in an academic capacity to engage with academic staff as partners

3 Share and communicate achievements & successes.