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Bradford’s green learning backed by funding council

The University of Bradford has secured millions of pounds worth of backing for a scheme that aims to embed environmental sustainability across its curriculum and into its student learning and living experience.

On World Environment Day (Tuesday 5 June 2007), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has confirmed it will provide £3.1 million to support the University’s ‘Ecoversity StuDent’ scheme.

The University of Bradford launched its ‘Ecoversity’ initiative in November 2005. This overarching initiative aims to make Bradford a model sustainable university, where the principles and practice of sustainable development are embedded across the entire institution and its activities. It brings together initiatives which improve education for sustainable development, the environment, social wellbeing and which contribute to a thriving economy.

‘Ecoversity StuDent’ forms part of the all-encompassing Ecoversity initiative which is aiming to make sustainability a practical reality through staff and student engagement at every level in the institution.

To help shape and support this process, the University has established a Sustainable Education Directorate. The Directorate will implement its plans through six strands of activity, which are:

1.Curriculum development
2.Student engagement
3.A Learning and Demonstration Centre
4.Action research
5.Longitudinal study
Dr Peter Hopkinson, Director of Education for Sustainable Development at the University of Bradford, was involved in the University’s bid to HEFCE. He said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this news on World Environment Day – which embodies so much of what we are trying to achieve at the University of Bradford.

“At the heart of Ecoversity StuDent is learning about sustainability through the curriculum, the practical daily experiences of being a student and through a wide range of informal and extra-curricular activities.

“The design and implementation of Ecoversity StuDent integrates existing best practice in Europe and North America, especially that of the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, which has agreed to collaborate with us on this.

“We are also collaborating closely with lead projects in the UK such as the Centre for Sustainable Future at the University of Plymouth, and the Higher Education Academy’s Energy for Sustainable Development programme to create a demonstration project and learning laboratory for the sector as a whole.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Professor Mark Cleary, said: “If we really want to bring about pro-sustainability behavioural change, then we have to encourage students and staff to provide the right conditions and infrastructure to support this desired behaviour, and then encourage, support and exemplify the direction we want to go in.

“We are delighted that HEFCE is supporting us and its contribution over three years will enable us not only to transform the University and support green activities across the city of Bradford, but our experiences and learning will be looked on with great interest across the sector.”

Emma Banks | alfa
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