Universities, sustainability and climate action – what do UWE students think?

Here are some of the highlights from the NUS Sustainability Skills Survey

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Did you know 91% of UWE students think that sustainable development is something which universities should actively incorporate and promote, and 84% of you think sustainable development is something which all university courses should actively incorporate?

This year a fantastic 419 UWE Bristol students took part in the NUS Sustainability Skills Survey to let us know your priorities, attitudes, and interests. We’re now gearing up to take your responses on board and create positive change at UWE Bristol.

You can read the results of the annual NUS Sustainability Skills survey here


Here are some of the highlights from the survey:


How sustainable do you think UWE and The Students’ Union are?

  • 79% agreed that UWE were taking action to limit the negative impact it has on the environment and society, compared with 67% in 2021-22.

  • 72% agreed that The Students’ Union takes action to limit the negative impact it has on the environment and society, compared with 64% last academic year.

  • 70% agreed that being a student at UWE encourages them to think and act to help the environment, and other people, compared with 69% last year.


Sustainability in your course:

  • 84% of UWE students agreed that places of study like theirs should be obliged to develop students' social and environmental skills as part of their courses. This is compared to 80% in 2021-22.

  • 63% said they had covered ethical issues linked to their subject, and 89% said this was personally important to them to learn.

  • 47% said they had covered how to use resources efficiently to limit the impact on the environment and other people, but 85% said this was important for them to learn.

  • Only 36% said they had covered the causes of inequality in the world, but 81% said this is personally important for them to learn.

  • Almost half, 48%, agreed that they’ve learned what their jobs will look like as a result of climate change.


When considering which jobs to apply for in the future….

  • 75% thought that a chance to work in a business / organisation that makes a difference to social and environmental issues, was an important factor.

  • 68% thought that a role that contributes to helping the environment was an important factor.

  • 74% thought that a role that contributes to the development within the local community was important.


Getting involved with sustainability:

  • 68% of UWE students thought that running voluntary activities for all students related to sustainability (e.g. within The Students' Union) was relevant and important. If you’d like to get involved with sustainability at The Students’ Union at UWE please see our Green Team page here or email thegreenteam@uwe.ac.uk to see how you can get involved.


The impact that learning about sustainability has had on you personally:

“I am a better, more empathetic and knowledgeable person.”

“Reducing unconscious bias, acting ethically in everything I do etc.”

“Learning about climate change made me change my diet and pursue wildlife conservation as my study area.”

“Understanding and seeing for myself what problems there are that need solving and how we can go about solving them.”

“It helps me to be more open minded towards positive changes and to promote the people around me to do the same.”


UWE’s sustainability strategy:

If you’d like to know more about what UWE is doing to combat the climate emergency, you can read more about UWE’s 2030 targets and sustainability strategy here.