The campaign follows a new poll carried out by Universities UK and Opiniom which has revealed that parents see universities as crucial to delivering on the Department for Education’s sustainability strategy published last week.
Results of the poll show that 64% of parents believe that going to university would equip their child with the skills and knowledge that can help make the world a better place, and 70% think a university degree is essential for those contemplating a career in tackling climate change. And given the opportunity, more than one in three UK adults (37%) would consider higher education as a route to upskilling to realign their career with efforts to combat the climate emergency.
Professor Christopher Dent, economist and leader of Edge Hill’s sustainability network SustainNET said: “Edge Hill is committed to tackling climate change, whether through the pioneering research being carried out by our academics, by being a zero-waste campus or by the creation of the SustainNET network pooling the knowledge of resources of people in the North West dedicated to preventing climate catastrophe.
“The poll carried out by UUK shows that Edge Hill also has a key role to play in educating the next generation of climate scientists and researchers and that parents see the benefits of a university education in equipping people with the skills and knowledge to build a career in the green sector.”
Universities throughout the country have joined forces to demonstrate their commitment to climate action and show the remarkable breadth of ways that universities are actively tackling the climate emergency through research, business and community interaction, and efforts to equip every graduate with climate literacy, no matter what subject they study.
Included in the campaign is Edge Hill’s research project being carried out by TV and Media expert Dr Elke Weissman. She is working Wavertree, Liverpool to create an ultra-local TV station run by the community which will feature content about living sustainability. Dr Weissman will then work with the Heseltine Institute at the University of Liverpool to examine whether local people change their habits and lifestyles based on the advice they receive.
Noted Psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie is also running a research project in the Northwest region, using a specially made climate change film featuring local children to teach people about the climate crisis and sustainable living. He will then work with his colleagues Dr Laura McGuire and Professor Christopher Dent to test through a series of planned ‘experiment events’ at local community venues what psychological impacts the film has and whether it leads to long term behaviour changes amongst adults in the Northwest.
These projects are supported by SustainNET, Edge Hill’s network bringing together academics, students, business leaders and communities to tackle climate change. It seeks to advance the sustainability agenda both on campus and across the North West on four interconnected fronts, namely research, education, student engagement and local community partnership.
Professor Steve WestCBE, President, Universities UK, said: “We need urgent and ambitious climate solutions and must ensure future generations are given the chance to build the careers they need to tackle this emergency head on. Universities are crucial to this. A university education can make all the difference in equipping students with the knowledge and skills to help them to make a positive impact on the planet, whatever path they choose.
“Evidence shows that universities are centre-stage in the UK’s climate action efforts, from researching bold and innovative solutions to mobilising businesses and local communities in ways that benefit us all. As a sector we can do even more to ensure the public hear this vital message, and that is what this campaign is all about.”
To find out more about Universities UK and their campaign visit: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk.
To discover more about our courses at Edge Hill, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.