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University of York


April 10, 2015

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The University of York and YUSU (the University of York Students’ Union) formally entered a partnership for Responsible Futures in 2024.  Building on strong collaborative relationships on formal and non-formal climate and environmental sustainability education, the team is consolidating its work to embed sustainability education across the institution. A whole institution baseline audit is currently underway to provide a clear picture of where environmental sustainability features in all programmes, conducted by a team of student interns. 

Environmental Sustainability at York has developed opportunities for all students to engage with sustainability through the development of a suite of interdisciplinary modules focused on sustainability challenges including the Sustainability Clinic (winner of a Green Gown award in 2023), Sustainability and Policy, led by the Stockholm Environment Institute York, the Future of Food, and Climate Crisis Action Lab.  Wider opportunities for students are available through the Student Sustainability Opportunities Hub, including the opportunity to train as a Climate Fresk facilitator, gain carbon literacy accreditation, get involved as a green impact auditor or project assistant and participate in conferences and events.

Students brainstorming ideas at the University of York

Key Contacts

The lead contact for the partnership is Daisy Kemp, Environmental Sustainability at York (ESAY) Project Manager. 

“Most recently, we have recruited nine student interns as part of a Responsible Futures Internship Programme. These students come from a range of academic disciplines and are completing the internship as a part time paid role, working as a team to conduct a baseline audit of our curriculum to map where environmental sustainability features. The purpose of the audit is to understand where we are as an institution in relation to environmental sustainability education in relation to empowering all students at York to act on the climate and ecological crises”.  - Daisy Kemp

"I signed up to be a Responsible Futures intern as I have been involved in lots of projects and discussions about sustainability at the University, and so have developed a keen interest in all things green. Naturally, a project which involves assessing the delivery of sustainability education within the curriculum itself was irresistible. As institutions cultivating the next generations of workers, universities and higher education providers have a duty to ensure students are equipped with the skills to tackle the sustainability problems of the future. As a like-minded - yet interdisciplinary - group of students, we are utilising a range of skills such as critical thinking, informational organisation, and effective written communication to carry out a sustainability audit of the programmes on offer at the University. We are critically reviewing the core and optional modules of each programme, checking to see whether module descriptions and programme learning outcomes include any of a range of sustainability topics, such as climate change or inequality, and writing a brief narrative on the status of each programme. Additionally, we are researching best practice examples from other universities to act as a guide for improvement. The results of this audit will be presented to members of staff at the Faculty level to help inform them on how to better implement sustainability into their curricula, in order to both meet the University's sustainability targets as well as future-proof the education they provide." - Moses Cirelli - Responsible Future Intern