Find out about how we are embedding sustainability in our students’ education.
Sustainability is embedded into all our programmes as a core graduate attribute. This is achieved through a student-centred, enriching learning environment, with an emphasis on practice-based learning. The University’s Education Strategy 2021-2024 stresses that Surrey graduates will be educated to think critically and differently and make a real impact on society.
Education for sustainable development
Surrey students will develop the knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes needed to work and live in a way that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Students will be nurtured as future leaders in sustainability thinking and empowered to take informed decisions and responsible actions that promote the wellbeing of present and future generations.
We are embedding sustainability in the education of all our students:
All students on taught degree courses will learn about sustainability within the context of their discipline throughout their programme. This will be specified in learning outcomes, and progress will be assessed.
Learning will be underpinned by reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Embedding sustainability is being carried out as part of a programme to embed core graduate attributes into the curriculum, with sustainability being one of these. The other core graduate attributes are: global and cultural intelligence, digital capabilities, knowledge and skills, employability and resilience and resourcefulness.
- Existing programmes: rollout 2021–22, 2022-23 and 2023-24.
- New programmes: sustainability embedded in all new programmes from 2023–24.
Postgraduate research degrees
All new postgraduate research degree students are encouraged to take a short ‘Introduction to Sustainability’ course as part of their induction, and the course is regularly promoted through the Doctoral College to current students.
Implementation: Commenced March 2022
Progress is reported to the Executive Sustainability Steering Group chaired by Professor Bob Nichol. The group reports to the University's Executive Board and Estates Building Executive Committee as appropriate.
Support and training
All taught courses go through a rigorous validation process during which it is checked that sustainability and the other core graduate attributes are embedded into each course. Workshops are provided to inspire and guide course leaders on how the attributes can be embedded.
A short ‘Introduction to Sustainability’ course is available to all staff and students. The course is voluntary and takes around 2 hours to complete, with a digital badge being issued on successful completion. The course was launched in September 2020 and is regularly updated.
We have integrated various opportunities to experience education for sustainable development within our University:
The Global Graduate Award in Sustainability is an extracurricular module open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students free of charge which offers the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of a wide range of issues affecting the sustainability of our planet.
The programme provides funding to undergraduate students for carrying out a placement or research project in a sustainability-related topic. Selection of projects happens through an annual competition.