What did you have to say about sustainability and CCCU? What do you understand by the word ‘Sustainable Development’ and how does it apply to your university experience? Breaking down the results of the 2018/19 NUS Skills survey.

Surveys are a useful tool when establishing a wider consensus on issues and the NUS skills survey is no different. Let’s have a look at what the survey shows us about CCCU students and sustainability.

What do students understand by the term ‘Sustainable development’?
In the 2017/18 survey, this is how CCCU students responded
How CCCU students responded to ‘sustainable development’ in the 2018/19 survey

These word walls show how students views have changed over the year. Whilst in 2017/18 students understood sustainable development as impacting the future, students in the 2018/19 survey seemed to focus on how the future generations could go without if not for sustainable development. Generations didn’t even appear in the 2017/18 word wall but in 2018/19 it is one of the bigger words.

What does this mean?

Well, it could mean that students are more aware than ever of the impact that sustainability has on future generations, without it we could be denying them of a decent future. However, it could also show that students are planning for their futures and taking sustainability into account whilst doing so.

Over 80% of CCCU respondents agree that sustainable development is something which universities should actively incorporate and promote, and just under that figure think all courses should do the same.  Over half of CCCU respondents say they want to learn more about sustainable development.

CCCU NUS Sustainability Skills survey 2018/19

This question showed with an overwhelming majority that students at CCCU want sustainable development to be intrinsically interwoven whilst studying at university.

Around the university, sustainability awareness is popping up; from posters explaining the UN’s Sustainable development goals, the reusable cup levy to recycling bins. Whilst some are obvious and others are more nuanced, sustainability is being interwoven with everyday university life. However, there is always more that could be done.