2019 Student Engagement Finalist: Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Tags: Student Engagement | International Green Gown Awards 2019

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VUW Sustainability Week: Learn to Live Sustainably

In May, students at Victoria University of Wellington hosted the university’s first ever ‘Sustainability Week’ of environmental action and events.  Campus was abuzz with thirteen events, daily action station activities, eco-giveaways, an art competition, a dedicated ‘Sustainability Special’ of our student magazine and opportunities galore to learn about today’s most pressing environmental issues and take action. The result was incredible student engagement, with over 1,000 people attending events and more than 30,000 reached via Facebook.  The organising committee, comprised of six student clubs, has since established a formal Sustainability Committee within our Student Association to work on long-term sustainability initiatives.

Top 3 learnings:

  1. Inspiring young people to lead and engage their peers provides an effective means of raising awareness of environmental issues.
  2. Collaboration is key to successful action for the environment; building a network of sustainability-orientated student clubs and individuals enabled us to achieve large-scale impact.
  3. Deeper engagement between staff and students, or institutions and their members, can help to develop a space for democratic and collaborative – and therefore sustainable – action.

What it means to win

“An International Green Gown Award is well-deserved recognition for the Victoria University community. Victoria is a leader in this area—our staff and students have embraced the concept of sustainability and continue to work hard to make our University a truly sustainable institution.”

Professor Grant Guilford

Vice-Chancellor

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