University of Exeter


Green Futures student solutions

The University of Exeter has dedicated £15,000 to student-led projects that will deliver sustainable benefits to our stakeholders. Student were able to apply to the fund via a predefined application process that measured project applications on engagement, confidence of delivery, and environmental impact protection metrics. The panel for application assessment included staff from our Student Guild, our Environment and Climate Emergency Team, and our Education Climate Advocates.

The students are responsible for project definition, budget and time management, and benefit realisation, meaning they have a great opportunity to make significant changes to the way the university operates, and gain valuable project management experience alongside their studies.

Five projects were successful in their applications, with project outcomes inclusive of better engagement with our students on environmental issues, innovative waste management platforms, water reduction competitions and frameworks for whole life carbon evaluation for our supply chain.

Top 3 Learnings

  1. Early communication amongst student populations is vital for meaningful engagement. Application entries were limited due to the short application process implemented.
  2. Covid has led to significant challenges in effective communication and engagement with the student population. We did find however that students are keen for reasons to return to campus for events and projects.
  3. It’s vital that confidence of project delivery is assessed for student-led projects, and in line with current operations and systems. Some ideas appear fantastic on paper but have hidden revenue costs that lead to project failure following implementation.
4 - Quality Education 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action
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