De Montfort University


DMU global online learning

De Montfort University (DMU) recognises the negative impact that overseas travel can have on the environment. We have made a range of positive changes to our student mobility programme by introducing alternative approaches to internationalisation and promoting more sustainable approaches to travel, including educating students and staff about carbon literacy.

Our initiative, DMU Global Online Learning, offers a range of exciting, virtual international experiences for DMU students, that don’t require overseas travel. Over the past 24 months, we have delivered 80 unique experiences, with 1000 students participating in virtual opportunities. Our aim is to make our virtual international experiences an even bigger part of our internationalisation agenda, ensuring that they are accessible to all students and diverse in nature. 

Where travel does happen at DMU, the University has created a new, bespoke online learning module that all participants are required to complete when going abroad focused on the topic of ‘Sustainability and Travel’.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

What the Judges Thought

The judges considered this an important initiative for the sector and one that responded directly to the category criteria to “build back better”. This initiative engages a significant number of students with real tangible benefits both in terms of carbon reduction and learning through the mandatory module. It provides a good range of different virtual opportunities. Judges noted that significant efforts had been made to disseminate the initiative and considered it to be transferable to other contexts. It is Impressive that the virtual opportunities themselves are linked to the SDGs, showing good integration of practice and education. 

What it Means to Win

“De Montfort University is addressing the climate crisis and other global challenges by taking a leading role as a UN Academic Impact Hub for SGD 16. Through the international opportunities we deliver, we educate students about these global issues, enhance their intercultural awareness, and equip them with the skills and knowledge to make a positive difference to society in the future. Being awarded this Green Gown Award in the ‘Building Back Better’ category offers recognition of our important work in this field.”

Professor Katie Normington, Vice-Chancellor

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Delivering virtual international opportunities, the University has been able to internationalise our students and staff without increasing our carbon emissions.
  2. Where we do have a need to travel, by preparing our students and staff to become carbon literate they are able to make more sustainable choices before, during and after their time overseas.
  3. Virtual international experiences can be aligned with a range of UN SDGs to help create more informed, socially responsible global citizens.
13 - Climate Action

Building Back Better

Sponsored by Scottish Funding Council

Scottish Funding Council
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