SORTED Guide to Sustainability in Further Education – Part 4 - Student engagement

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What's in this section?

Introduction to the topic area

The transient nature of students passing through FE offers a unique chance to engage students as agents of change in the future. The experiences and opportunities offered to students will be of benefit not only to them but also institutions and wider communities as they take these skills with them, and on through to adult life. These opportunities exist within the curriculum, as well as the informal curriculum. 

Organisational value of embedding sustainability in this area

Wider benefits of embedding sustainability in this area

Students who are more actively involved with sustainability and community projects are more likely to take their skills out into their community and workplace and continue to make positive change.

Getting started

Spot opportunities in the informal curriculum

Many of the principles underpinning sustainable development also contribute to quality of life and greater efficiency. For example, a healthy college programme might consider a ‘stop smoking’ or a ‘local food’ campaign, or promote walking and cycling; an energy awareness programme could promote switching off lights and heating when teaching rooms are not in use. Many of these topics could be adopted as elements of the taught curriculum in any form of provision.

Promote other opportunities outside of the organisation

Increasingly, learners are signing up to do voluntary sustainable development activities with the growth of organisations such as Change Agents UK and Groundwork.

Hold a whole-organisation Sustainability Day

Treat the organisation as a Living Laboratory. Where sustainability efforts, legislation compliance, etc is undertaken within the organisation, promote this, and encourage learners to get involved. Communicate what you are doing as an organisation, let learners and staff know that you are leading from action.

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