On Thursday last I attended the final meeting of the Liverpool Green Guild project steering group where we cheered the recent Guild award for waste prevention and reflected on all the fantastic work done by students over the last two years.
The funding for the project, which was part of five million pounds of HEFCE funding for student-led environmental sustainability projects, runs through students’ unions in partnership with their parent institutions. The four key themes of the Students’ Green Fund are student participation, partnership, impact, and legacy.
Legacy and continuation was the focus of a Green Fund Final Support day that I attended on the 16th of April in Bristol with Green Guild Project Officer Dave Wheatley and Guild Vice President Alex Ferguson. Now is the time to look to continuing the work of the Green Fund and the 24 other NUS-led projects across the country, especially with the recently published HEFCE sustainable development framework which was mentioned in the annual funding letter to Universities.
Steve Egan, a champion of the project from HEFCE, talked about sustainability and said that Universities have come to realise that:
“There is a generation gap between university managers and students who are much more aware and enthusiastic than their elders”
He went on to comment on enthusiasm for social justice and equality, and said the pride with which students have tackled their task has been amazing. The collaborations between students, academic and professional services staff and through outreach beyond the university are a model for future collaborations.