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Towards a sustainable university

Longhurst, James; Gough, Georgina


Georgina Gough
Associate Professor in Education for Sustainable Development


The paper will explore the University of the West of England, Bristol’s progress over a 20-year period in embedding sustainable development into the whole institution mission.
The University of the West of England, Bristol is committed to ensuring that all its students, irrespective of their programme of study, are introduced to the ideas of sustainable development during their undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme. The university recognises that a typical graduate will have some 50-60 years of life post-graduation in which the pro sustainability knowledge, skills and attributes developed at university can play out positively in both their professional and private lives. Hence, UWE considers it a key part of its mission to provide an opportunity for all students to consider sustainability within their degree programme. In the most recent year of analysis the university has confirmed that each UG and PG taught programme within the portfolio provides this opportunity for disciplinary consideration of sustainability.

The University’s award winning Sustainability Plan sets out our policy commitments and strategy to support sustainable development and describes their implementation these into the business of the University both in our educational role and in the management of our estate. (See Progress with the aims of the Plan are reported publicly and enhancement actions are identified and prioritised by the use of an accredited environmental management system, certified to the international standard BS:EN ISO14001:2004, covering the entirety of the institution’s endeavours. In 2016 the university became the first in the UK to have its Education for Sustainable Development work accredited under the full NUS Responsible Futures certification scheme.
The paper will provide a range of examples to illustrate the University ongoing commitment to ensuring that current and future student are able to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that will enable them to be responsible 21st Century citizens contributing to the development of a sustainable future.


Longhurst, J., & Gough, G. (2017, June). Towards a sustainable university. Presented at Sustainable Development and Planning

Presentation Conference Type Keynote
Conference Name Sustainable Development and Planning
Start Date Jun 27, 2017
End Date Jun 29, 2017
Acceptance Date Jun 27, 2017
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords sustainability, UWE, Bristol, ambition, progress, challenge
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : 9th International Conference on Sustainable Development and Planning


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