University of Winchester’s sustainability partnership with students recognised by National Union of Students award

10 Jun 2019

The University of Winchester has been awarded the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Responsible Futures accreditation for its commitment to embedding sustainability and social responsibility in its teaching and other activities.

The award recognises the partnership between the University and Winchester Student Union to promote education for sustainable development, helping students at Winchester to understand the sustainability challenges facing society and preparing them to become globally responsible citizens.

Professor Joy Carter CBE, DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “In partnership with the Student Union, we have been working hard to create an environment where education for sustainability and social justice can flourish and be a part of every Winchester student’s higher education experience. This accreditation highlights that we are very much on the right track.

“Our commitment to sustainability and social justice are at the heart of our determination to make a positive social and environmental impact and create a better world for the future.”

Winchester’s pioneering activities in sustainability education include the Climate Change Education Strategy, which commits the University to ensuring all students graduate with an understanding of how climate change is relevant to their subject area and their everyday lives and how they can address the challenges it presents.

Carole Parkes, Professor of Responsible Management, who led the University’s accreditation work, said: “The Responsible Futures accreditation underlines the strength of the partnership between the University and the Student Union in ensuring sustainability is embedded across the institution. Together we will be creating more opportunities for students to engage with real world issues as part of their time here.”

Tali Atvars, Winchester Student Union President, said: “Receiving the Responsible Futures accreditation is the result of the strong working partnership between the Student Union and the University. Our students and graduates have to step up to take on the challenges of the century ahead of us and this is a very positive step towards shaping the minds of our students to think about sustainability and how it applies to not only their education but to life after graduation.”

One of the Winchester student auditors said: “I think Responsible Futures is an amazing programme that inspires and empowers people across the board within and around a university institution and gives opportunity for people collectively to discuss important issues regarding sustainability and social justice. I really recommend that students experience this programme as I have gained insight and learnt so much in the past two days.”

NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship) Zamzam Ibrahim commented: “Sixty per cent of students want to learn more about sustainability, and Responsible Futures is making that happen. We need our graduates to meet the challenges of the century ahead of us, not to repeat the mistakes of the decades behind us. That’s why I’m so thrilled that the University of Winchester and Winchester Student Union have been accredited by Responsible Futures.

“Shaping education is the first step to shaping the whole of society, and I can’t wait to see the University of Winchester and Winchester Student Union build on their Responsible Futures accreditation in the years to come.”

The accreditation follows the news that the University of Winchester’s work in sustainability and social responsibility has earned it a place in the top 100 of the first-ever global University Impact Rankings put together by Times Higher Education. In the ranking, Winchester was ranked second in the UK for Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education.

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