Talking about ‘The Next Generation’ at the EAUC Scotland Conference

External Events Transition University of St Andrews University of St Andrews

On Thursday 20th February St Andrews sent a delegation to the EAUC (Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges) Scotland Conference in Glasgow. The team included:

  • Dr Rehema White (lecturer in SD and Transition Steering Group Member)
  • Joshua Msika (Transition Steering Group Co-ordinator)
  • Morgan Buckner (Transtition Steering Group Member and Transition Green Week Intern)
  • Lucy Anderson (Transition Staff Member, DRA Warden and PhD student in the School of Management)
  • Rebecca Petford (Transition Staff Member)

Lucy at EAUCThe theme was The Next Generation, focusing on the link between student sustainability projects and the staff who support them, and Lucy had been invited to speak about St AndRe-Use, which began as a student project. The scheme has been supported by Estates as well as academic staff over the last 4.5 years, and is now run by a student committee with the support of Lucy in her role as a Transition Staff Member. It seems to be a pretty unique project, and always wins admiring glances whenever we talk about it!

Lucy’s talk focused on the importance of staff being aware of and supporting the plans and aspirations of students, and in reflection she says:

I greatly enjoyed the EAUC conference in Glasgow. It was fantastic to see students, academic and operational staff all with the same goal. I think it proved to me that if we want to make Universities more sustainable (either in practice, research or education) we’ve got to work together. Ultimately we are the University: it doesn’t exist without staff or students, and as a consequence I think we have to be confident that we can decide exactly what we want it to be. On a more frivolous note, the shortbread biscuits at lunch were also fantastic!

St Andrews Bike PoolJoshua had prepared a poster for the event on the Bike Pool, which can be expanded by clicking the image to the right to view it in full.

Morgan and Rebecca had a great time reporting live on the event and boosting the Transition Twitter Feed (the hashtag is #EAUCS2014 if you want to find what other groups had to say too!).

Dr Rehema White also felt it had been a successful day, but that some gaps within Scotland were highlighted within the discussions:

I liked the presentations from the Circular Economy and Climate 2020 group; engaging business both in different ways of working, although am not sure that either presentation tackled the greater challenges of paradigm change. Always inspiring to hear students talk and Lucy did a great job discussing St And ReUse and her multiple hats. The Learning for Sustainability Scotland workshop by Morag and Abi was excellent – good to have a chance to discuss and get a sense of where other institutions sit with regard to ESD [Education for Sustainable Development] in HE [Higher Education]. We need to work together more in Scotland in this area; there are plenty of workshops down south.

A big thank you to those at EAUC Scotland for arranging the event. We look forward to seeing more connected working between Scottish Universities and their staff and students shining through over the next wee while, and are already looking forward to next year!

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alistair.macleod
Ali is project manager of Transition University of St Andrews.