Cranfield University has worked on student engagement for a number of years. Outstanding results have been achieved this year by blending a top down and a bottom up approach. The University and the Students’ Association working in partnership have created a win-win situation where the institution and the students have both benefited. This has helped raise the environmental agenda across the University influencing staff as well as students. It has also helped underpin the development of our living lab concept for the University by harnessing students’ enthusiasm to improve their local environment.
A top down approach was developed with a subcommittee of the executive being established to provide governance and oversee the process. The Cranfield Students’ Association was encouraged to establish a “Green Officer” post on their own executive body. At the same time, a bottom up approach was developed with students encouraged to form a “Green Team” who are actively involved in completing volunteering tasks such as completing audits, awareness raising, and other activities to help to improve the environment.
Top 3 learnings:
1 Integrate student involvement in the environment into the structures of both the student association and the University.
2 Enthuse and then support interested students who will become champions for the cause.
3 Open up a wide range of opportunities to get invoked in real actions whether voluntary or through “Living Lab” projects.