Learning, Research & Students

Sustainability is key to institutional success over the long-term


Socially responsible and sustainable institutions take a long-term view of their relationships with students before, during and after their time at university or college – which helps to improve student access, retention, performance and employability.

Institutions embracing strategic sustainability create more socially aware, sustainability-driven graduates with the practical, intellectual, innovation and resiliency skills needed to succeed in the modern workforce and beyond.

Sustainability improves employability and employment outcomes by broadening student perspectives, encouraging them to take a long term view and teaching them how to work creatively and collaboratively to solve complex problems. Cross-disciplinary teaching and research associated with sustainability enables students to develop these attributes, together with applied learning from Living Lab projects.

Research outcomes, income and profile are critical to the positioning of many education institutions. Institutions that prioritise sustainability are better placed to build research partnerships, respond to funding priorities and deliver research with impact because sustainability, and its relationship with research and teaching, is of growing importance to stakeholders – including government, business and the third sector.

Funders are increasingly looking to understand, and address, global societal challenges through research and innovation in the knowledge economy. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) incentivises institutions to demonstrate impact on sustainable development, by explicitly assessing impact on society, economy, culture, environment, health and quality of life. The Sustainable Development Goals provide a globally acknowledged framework for institutions to realise that impact and are of increasing interest to UK Research Councils, industry and philanthropy efforts.
 

For Academics & Researchers:

For Sustainability Specialists:

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