Student engagement

There are a number of ways for students to get involved in sustainability at the University. These opportunities allow students to develop practical knowledge of sustainability, thus gaining valuable life and employment skills.         

Student representation 

All our sustainability policies have student engagement is an objective included in all sustainability policies. A dedicated budget is made available to fund behavioural change campaigns and operational projects aimed to help students be more sustainable. 

Opportunities for students to help shape the University’s environmental strategy and policy are also offered as part of relevant meetings. 

The Executive Sustainability Steering Group and its relevant working groups welcome student representatives at all their meetings. The meetings consult on policy, hear progress reports from the Heads of Sustainability and Working Group Chairs and agree on the strategic direction of sustainability at Surrey.

VP Community has formal responsibility for sustainability at a student level across the University, consulting on policies and providing representation from the USSU and student societies. Representatives of the University of Surrey Students’ Union also take part in the meetings of the Infrastructure Management Board, which oversees estates, planning, finance and strategic decision making. 

Sustainability in the Students' Union

The University of Surrey Students’ Union is taking steps to track and reduce the impact that their activities, services and products may have on the environment. For more information regarding their Sustainability Policy, please visit their website

To read more about their commitments, campaigns and actions they take to be become more sustainable, please visit this dedicated section on their website.

How students can get involved

  • Students can sign up to become Sustainability Ambassadors to act as a powerful voice for sustainable living at the University. The Ambassadors’ role involves communicating sustainability messages, assisting in running projects and engaging fellow students.
  • All our students can take part in Reduce the Juice, an engagement campaign aimed to promote sustainable behaviour and educate staff and students students on how they can create a sustainable global future. Each month, the campaign focuses on a different sustainability theme, with live webinars being hosted and challenged organised, where participants can show how they put their knowledge into practice. 
  • Sustainability Week is an annual event organised by the University of Surrey's People and Planet Society in collaboration with the Student's Union, the Sustainability Team and other student societies. Events during the week include guest lectures, workshops and film screenings aiming to engage staff and students in sustainability. Sustainability Week 2021 was organised between the 1-5th March and featured webinars, challenges and competitions designed to inform staff and students on how they can make changes to be more sustainable. 
  • Students can get involved in university-funded projects aimed to tackle local sustainability problems. Our most recent student-led initiatives include the 'Transforming bins into blooms' project and the 'Eco-labelling for food items' trial. 
  • Many societies across campus organise activities related to sustainability. For further information, please visit the Students' Union website.
  • The University of Surrey Students' Union (USSU) has a dedicated volunteering platform that can be used to find opportunities related to sustainability. Our students can log their hours and get certificates that can be used in future CVs.

Knowledge development 

Our Global Graduate Award in Sustainability provides students with an understanding of a wide range of challenges affecting the environmental sustainability of our planet and some of the promising solutions. This free course, open to all Surrey students, is the perfect way to complement your studies, enhance your employability and improve your understanding of the world we live in.

The University of Surrey also offers a variety of further courses to help students develop their knowledge, such as postgraduate courses, short courses and studentships

Scholarships and bursaries are available to support postgraduate and undergraduate studies in environment and sustainability. 

Support and training 

Sustainability is included in the induction of all students living in university residences. This is done through presentations conducted by Residential Wardens, where topics such as sustainability strategy and policy, engagement campaigns and ways to get involved are covered. 

A short ‘Introduction to Sustainability’ course is available to all staff and students, helping to incorporate sustainability into personal life and professional practice. The course is voluntary and takes around 2 hours to complete, with a digital badge being issued on successful completion.

Grass field with solar panels

Sustainability research opportunities

The Undergraduate Sustainability Research Opportunities Programme (USROP) allows undergraduates to apply for funding for research on the theme of sustainability.