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Educating the next generation

Education and engagement

Education for sustainable development (ESD)

Sustainable development is about improving the quality of life of all people, now and in the future, while working in harmony with nature. BU has signed the SDG Accord, pledging our commitment to supporting the UN Global Goals.

ESD aims to provide the knowledge, skills, behaviours and values needed for sustainable development. Through it, students should feel empowered to act and lead change to creating a more sustainable future. The key roles of ESD are:

  • Play a transformative role in society by increasing awareness of global issues and developing personal capacity for change
  • Foster the values, beliefs and behaviours that are important to a sustainable future in order to develop active, global citizens
  • Enable us to understand how our lives are linked with others throughout the world
  • Enable learners to make decisions that consider the long-term future of all communities, protecting the natural environment while ensuring social justice and economic success.

ESD at Bournemouth University

At BU we continue to explore new ways to inspire our staff and students to understand sustainable development and its essential role in creating a just and fair society. Our Centre for Fusion Learning Innovation & Excellence (FLIE) and Sustainability Academic Network lead the way in embedding sustainability in the curriculum. In the past year we have:

  • Recognised and rewarded academics showcasing inspiring ESD practice through our 5th annual Excellence in Education for Sustainable Development Award
  • Established the Sustainability Academic Network, which leads on ESD across BU and reports  to the Sustainability Committee, and the ESD Community of Practice, an informal network for staff to share and collaborate on ESD practice
  • Completed a university-wide mapping of the UN Global Goals within all programmes across our Faculties
  • Delivered a sustainability module as part of the PGCert programme, which is delivered to all staff training to become a lecturer
  • Offered lectures from the Sustainability Team for a range of BU courses, from engineering to project management, and a sustainability workshop to student reps
  • Delivered an assignment for MSc Green Economy students in which they critically evaluate the BU Carbon Management Plan and make suggestions for its improvement. 
  • Actively promoted the NUS SDG Teach-In

Read more examples of ESD at BU or take a look at the FLIE blog for more information. Alongside its teaching, BU is directly involved in a range of research for sustainable development, including through our Centre for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability.

Get involved at BU

There are a number of opportunities for you to get involved with BU’s sustainability vision while you study or work here. You can always find out the latest news by looking at our Sustainability Team's Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages. We also have a Sustainability Communication and Engagement Plan (pdf 487kb) which shows your our approach to raise awareness of global issues at BU.

Green Week

Green Week is an annual event at BU and is always packed full of sustainability events and initiatives for students and staff to get involved with. Last year Green Week included a zero waste cooking demonstration, UN SDG scavenger hunt, demonstrations by LUSH, and environmental film screenings. Keep up-to-date with SUBU and our social media pages for information on future Green Weeks, and contact with the SUBU Community Team to get involved.

Student campaigning

BU students raised the issue of banking with Barclays as part of the national campaign by People & Planet. During Green Week their campaign encouraged other students to sign the national petition against Barclays support of the fracking company Third Energy. The campaign gathered wide support from students both at BU and nationwide and contributed to Barclays withdrawing their financing of the fracking company.

Previous student campaigning also led to BU divesting from fossil fuels. Following a national campaign led by People & Planet, students raised and debated the issue of BU divesting from companies linked to fossil fuels. This resolution was passed and an online petition organised by students which received 212 signatures lead to BU reviewing our Ethical Investment Policy and choosing to divest from fossil fuels.

Community Engagement

There are numerous ways the BU community can, and do, get involved, with supporting the local community. Our BU2025 strategy supports and encourages all staff and students to engage in citizenship; to volunteer and to contribute to their local community. 

For students, we have a wide range of volunteering opportunities available, organised by the SUBU Community Team. For those interested in biodiversity, we have opportunities both on and offsite to get involved in. 

BU staff can run and take part in volunteering opportunities through the Green Rewards scheme. Through this, our staff have volunteered in a range of ways from helping to paint local charity facilities to teaching skills to others. Moreover, BU donates £1000 to a number of charities each year at the annual Green Rewards celebration event.

Spot the drop

Spot the Drop aims to help us minimise energy and water wastage by spotting and stopping wasted water from leaking toilets, urinals and taps across our two campuses. If you spot a leak around our sites, let us know where it is by contacting the Sustainability Team. Students who report a new incident are rewarded with a stainless steel water bottle.

Green Resident Assistants

As of September 2018 the ResLifeBU team have added Green Resident Assistants to their ranks. They have been actively running sustainable and ethical events in halls including gardening opportunities, swap shops, trips to Brownsea Island and more!

Green Rewards

Green Rewards is a fantastic way to get our staff members involved with sustainable actions and allows us to measure the impact we are having as a community. Last year BU staff members collectively logged actions which contributed to saving 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions as well as 515kg of wasted disposable coffee cups, 10,000 hours of exercise and 130,000 sustainably-travelled miles. We’ve even been shortlisted for an Edie Sustainability Leaders Award. If you’re a member of BU staff and would like to find out how to get involved, please email us.

Want to run your own project?

If you’re a student of staff member at BU and have an idea which could help us become more sustainable, get in touch with as much detail as possible about your proposal. We can help evolve and support your idea, and also see if there’s an opportunity to create a Living Lab project.

How does this help BU?

We all have the ability to take action and create a more sustainable future and at BU we aim to encourage and support everyone in our community to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. Our opportunities to get involved reaffirm the importance of the sustainability agenda at BU, while helping us understand what we can do to improve and ensure that our estate runs as efficiently as possible.