Green Gown Awards 2018 - University of Worcester - Finalist

Tags: Green Gown Awards 2018 | benefitting society | University Of Worcester

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Now in its fifth year this cross-Atlantic partnership between the University of Worcester, UK and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, USA, has seen students working together to improve sustainability across curriculum, campus and community.  Having spent 7 weeks undertaking primary research and project planning at their home institution, engineering undergraduate students from WPI visit Worcester, UK spending 7 weeks implementing sustainability-based projects. This year, 28 WPI students delivered 9 different community and campus-based projects.

Projects are inspired by joint university sustainability policies and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They are highly varied across scope and collaborators, all focusing on developing recommended solutions to problems that lie at the intersection of science, technology, and societal issues and needs.  Considerable multi-stakeholder benefits have accrued from this collaboration. For example; two local authorities, residents and businesses in Worcester have benefited from the first community-based Go Green Week and secondary schools have received support in potential for implementing the UN SDGs.

Visiting students gain from experiential learning through projects that apply acquired skills and abilities to solve real-world problems. They also become familiar with UK culture; living and in some projects, working, alongside UK undergraduates.

Top 3 learnings:

  • Include students, staff, governors and the local community in developing your vision.
  • We can’t do this on our own.  Little by way of innovation occurs in isolation and the University of Worcester is open to collaboration and collaborative models.
  • Create many scaffolding opportunities, so colleagues across the Students’ Union and University can connect with their discipline/area of expertise.  When it’s interwoven and inspirational more people can feel motivated to balance economic efficiency, social equity and environmental accountability.