The University of Edinburgh welcomed attendees to an event on Friday 16th August 2019 to celebrate and discuss opportunities to take forward the European Students Sustainability Auditing (ESSA) Project.
An overview of the project was provided to attendees, followed by sessions on social responsibility and employability, the importance of sustainability in higher education, assessment and certification. Students from the University who participated in the project provided insights into their experience in audits of the university of King's College London and Kaunas University of Technology.
Those who attended the event had the opportunity to discuss extensively with colleagues the importance of social responsibility in universities, as well as opportunities for taking forward the project. There was enthusiasm from attendees about the project, especially the benefit to the student experience and institutions. Many highlighted that the project provided a unique experiential learning opportunity for students. Below are some direct quotes from attendees about what they liked about the project:
“Student-centred. Leads to skills that are transferable.”
“The great opportunity it provided for students to gain valuable experience and develop a wide range of skills.”
“How highly the students spoke of it - and how they have been able to practically use the learning as a direct result.”
“I thought the practical experience for the students is the greatest strength of the programme - the variety of skills they utilise is great.”
“The opportunity for students to learn outside of the traditional HEI structure.”
Close to 40 attendees came from universities and colleges from across the United Kingdom, sector wide organisations, as well as interested academic teaching staff and students from the University of Edinburgh.