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UWE Bristol and the Students’ Union at UWE case study - Climate Conversations and Cake (3Cs)

Case Study

August 18, 2023

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Climate Conversations and Cake (3Cs)

Related Responsible Futures Criteria: PPL003, IN001, IN005, IN007, IN008, IN010, IO003

Overview of initiative/action

The key features of the initiative were:

  • Idea developed for 2022-23 from student feedback recognising that they wanted to cultivate a space to talk through their feelings and experiences of environmental issues.
  • Initially funded by The Students’ Union at UWE but led by a team comprising lead academic, Sara Williams, and including students and members of UWE@s Sustainability Team and The SU at UWE.
  • Monthly meet ups were timetabled and centred around cohort development, enhancing the student experience, and providing a critical space for students to connect, discuss and apply their learning.
  • Being widened out to all students and offered as part of the move towards embedding climate and environmental learning throughout the university.
  • Success built by dedicated and engaged volunteers.

Impact of initiative

In the partnership’s evaluation survey 100% of students said they enjoyed or really enjoyed the sessions. Student feedback included the following statements:

  • Friendly, engaging conversations with people of the same passion but different viewpoints and ideas- growing awareness on environmental issues.
  • These sessions provide such an important space for us to able to express emotions on some of the wider issues we learn about.
  • It is a safe place to find like-minded people and talk about the greatest disaster that is already here.

Students particularly appreciated guest speakers and group talks, where they were able to choose topics to talk about and to share different ideas and experiences. Getting to know people from other courses and brainstorming were also features identified by students as being valuable.

Role that RF criteria/programme has played in this initiative

This project took place as part of UWE’s organic education for sustainable development activities. The partnership use the RF criteria to set annual ESD agendas and to focus the partnership’s staff support and development activities but this 3Cs initiative was set up independently by the lead academic (Sara Williams).

  • PPL003 – Within the current academic year, the partnership has proactively and meaningfully engaged key stakeholder groups in the issues related to Responsible Futures.
  • IN001 – Within the current academic year, the partnership has run one or more internal event bringing together staff and students on the issues related to Responsible Futures.
  • IN005 - The institution's non-academic and research/academic teams routinely collaborate to create educational and/or research opportunities through their sustainability-related work. Some institutions would call this a Living Lab approach.
  • IN007 - There are wide reaching structured interdisciplinary experiences, linked to the issues related to Responsible Futures, through the formal curriculum for students across the institution.
  • IN008 - There are good levels of informal curriculum activity that support the aims of Responsible Futures.
  • IN010 - Within the last 1-3 years, there have been opportunities for students to co-create teaching, learning and/or assessment approaches or content in the formal curriculum with their educators.
  • IO003 - The partnership has reflected on and identified their short-term impacts and outcomes in relation to positive outcomes for students.

“Responsible Futures provides us with a comprehensive framework to direct our education for sustainable development work”  - Georgina Gough, UWE Bristol and Rachel Colley, The SU at UWE

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