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Green Gown Awards

24 Mar 2021 | Advance HE Advance HE is proud to partner the Green Gown Awards which take place today

Developing Courses and Skills on Sustainability is Supporting Lifestyle Changes in the HE Sector

UK and Irish institutions are increasingly developing courses to ensure future graduates are able to not only facilitate sustainable life changes for themselves, but also take the lead in roles that will establish them as game changers when it comes to sustainable business.

From developing vocational courses to facilitating community involvement and environmental awareness, Higher Education institutions are embracing the opportunity to put the next generation at the heart of the sustainability agenda.

Supporting this development, the winners of the Green Gown Awards will be announced in a Virtual Ceremony, this afternoon,  24 March, and will celebrate the best in sustainability initiatives from universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland. The Next Generation Learning and Skills category will recognise universities and colleges that are embedding sustainability in academic courses and activities to encourage future generations to make a positive change.

From Nottingham Trent University (pictured in the title), which is using a crowd research technique to make a more sustainable campus, to De Montfort University which is teaching international students English for academic purposes using the SDGs, finalist institutions in this category are taking important steps to equip students with the skills they need to be tomorrow’s employees and green leaders.

The University of Gloucestershire is a finalist for two different projects. A Rounder Sense of Purpose has developed a set of 12 competences for educators working at any level who wish to facilitate learning for sustainability. It has involved nine partner institutions from across Europe, has reached thousands of teachers and is currently being adopted well beyond the EU. Radical Sustainability is a partnership between University of Gloucestershire and Interface and uses Interface’s cutting-edge sustainability practice, as sector pioneers, to meet two urgent professional learning needs at once: today’s employees - building the expertise of existing professionals and tomorrow’s employees - rapid professional development for students to apply sustainability and create change in their careers as our future sustainability leaders.

Another finalist that is embedding sustainable practices into its courses is the University of Salford. It is recognising that the environmental impacts of the fashion industry are enormous and is equipping Fashion Image Making & Styling students with the capabilities they need to progress sustainable solutions within the fashion industry. Students are challenged to collaboratively create a ‘full look’ and supporting materials/responses, with a zero-waste anchor and ethical environmental consciousness at the core.

There are ten finalists in the Next Generation Learning and Skills category:

University of Salford – Extinction Rebellion Takeover - Creatives prove that change can happen

University of Salford – Collaboration: Learning and Sharing Together

University of Gloucestershire – Radical Sustainability

University of Gloucestershire – A Rounder Sense of Purpose

The University of Edinburgh – Collaborations for Change: Integrating the SDGs in Further and Higher Education

Nottingham Trent University – Sustainability by Crowd - Using crowd research technique for making a more sustainable campus

North East Scotland College – Girls in Energy – A Catalyst for Change

Dumfries and Galloway College – Finally! Success with remote teaching and learning

De Montfort University – Learning English through sustainability: Teaching international students English for academic purposes using the SDGs

Cardiff Metropolitan University – Housing Futures - Sustainability skills at the centre of learning for future housing professionals

You can find out more about how institutions are taking on the sustainability challenge by reading the Green Gown Award case studies here.

Congratulations to all the finalists. The winners will be announced from 4.00pm this afternoon.

On Monday 29 March, Advance HE and QAA will launch landmark new guidance on Education for Sustainable Development. The revised is guidance intended to help UK higher education institutions incorporate Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) within their curricula.


We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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