Higher Education Funding Council for England

Students' Green Unit wins ISCN award

Thursday 05-06-2014 - 17:59
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We’re thrilled to announce that Students’ Green Unit at University of Exeter Students’ Guild has been awarded an International Sustainable Campus Network Excellence award.

The ISCN awards recognise sustainable campus projects which demonstrate creativity, effectiveness and outstanding performances.

With £5 million of HEFCE funding supproting Students' Green Fund across the UK, we've created world leading, student-led projects in just one year.

Students’ Green Unit won their award in the category of student leadership – the only UK winner to present at the ceremony.

“We are delighted to have won this award”, Students’ Green Unit intern Caroline Yoe tells us. “It's a very clear statement that our students are doing some groundbreaking work for sustainability!”

“Over the year they have come up with some really interesting ideas to encourage behaviour change, which we are now seeing the impacts of across the campus”

Students’ Green Unit is run by a paid team of recent graduates. They pair student activists with academic experts, to turn ideas for behaviour change into effective, transformational projects.

Staff project lead Norrie Blackeby attended the ceremony to pick up the award on behalf of the guild. “The award has made a profound impact in the way I view sustainability especially in higher education”, she explained.

“I cannot believe I was talking to the top sustainability drivers in Harvard and MIT and also international universities. They thought the project was outstanding and excellent. It is totally amazing. I haven't touched the ground yet”

The award is a huge testament to the value of HEFCE’s investment in sustainability across the UK, and of students across our movement dedicated to a low-carbon society.

“We realised early on that the Students’ Green Unit cannot work in isolation", Norrie told us, highlighting the importance of partnership between students' unions and parent institutions. "Engaging with key people in the university meant we had access to information, facilities, academic mentoring and space to  run successful events and student-led projects. Without collaboration, we wouldn’t be able to get very far.”

“What sets us apart is the freedom students have to create the change they want to see”, Caroline added. 

“Every step of the project is designed by them, and they receive outstanding support from specialist mentors, such as academics and local professionals, and they are able to shape the long-term legacy of their project”

Only one year into the project, Students’ Green Unit have been recognised as leaders on an international platform. This is what the student movement can achieve when it rallies around an issue and is supported through catalyst funding.




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