NUS to lead EU sustainability initiative

Wednesday 18-01-2017 - 14:08

NUS is excited to be leading on an EU Erasmus+ funded project: ‘European Students, Sustainability Auditing’ (ESSA).

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This initiative aims to increase students’ employability by providing alternative learning models – through active engagement with sustainability auditing. The project is a three year pilot, and hopes to increase student satisfaction by allowing a more flexible approach to learning, assessment and certification. All in the context of issues that impact the world around us.

Cooperation across countries and institutions is central to the success of the project. The NUS’s official partners are the European Students’ Union, the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Porto (Portugal), Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania), and the students’ associations or unions of these universities (Edinburgh University Students Association, Associação de Estudantes da Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto and Kaunas University of Technology Students’ Union).

A cohort of 60 students at participating universities will be trained by facilitators to become Social Responsibility Auditors. The training is intended to operate as student-centred, action-reflection learning – a combination of face-to-face and online – and teaches auditing against Benchmark Standards for University Social Responsibility, collated in an online toolkit. The toolkit includes four categories: Public Learning and Engagement; Governance; Environmental and Social Responsibility; and Fair Practice.

By ensuring that students are active agents in their own learning and its implications for social and environmental sustainability - and by building skills and experience - ESSA hopes to enhance graduate career prospects.  Students will be awarded Level 6 European Qualification Framework (EQF) Certificate in Social Responsibility Auditing, and will complete the final audits at institutions other than their own, fully funded by the project.

Integral to the project will be the production of a significant, innovative Open Education Resource (OER) that will include:

  • a Facilitator Training Manual
  • an Auditor Training Scheme
  • an Auditor Manual and
  • an Assessment Manual.

Student satisfaction, employability and sustainability are central priorities for NUS, so we’re proud to be leading on this EU pilot.

For more information please visit the ESSA website.

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