University and its Union of Students win award for embedding sustainability and social responsibility into curriculum

5 July 2022

The University of Derby and its Union of Students (US) have been awarded the Responsible Futures accreditation delivered by SOS-UK. This reflects the institution and students’ union’s shared commitment to embedding sustainability and social responsibility across the formal and informal curriculum. 

Highlights of Derby’s application for accreditation included the University’s success in the recent Sustainable Development Goals Teach In campaign, progress with the Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative, the Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme, and high-profile research about nature connectedness.  

Since its launch by the National Union of Students (NUS) in 2014, 35 institutions have worked with their students’ unions across the UK to take part in Responsible Futures, demonstrating their commitment to creating an environment where education for sustainable development can thrive. Responsible Futures is now hosted by and led by Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK), formerly NUS sustainability team. 

SOS-UK and NUS aim to see students leave formal education with the knowledge, skills, attributes, and values required to critically challenge the world around them, and a desire and willingness to tackle social, economic, and environmental issues and inequalities. 

Nina Cupric, Vice President Education at the Union of Students, commented:It is amazing to receive recognition for so many years of work put in by the Union and the University. This symbolises our joint commitment towards sustainability and embedding it into everything we do. Thank you to everyone who has been involved.” 

Chris Ribchester, Associate Professor: Learning and Teaching, and the University’s Pedagogic Lead for Education for Sustainable Development, commented: “This is a great achievement which reflects the work of colleagues from across the University. The audit report highlights lots of examples of good practice, but also provides plenty of important suggestions for future actions, which we need to address.”  

Responsible Futures offers a framework and certification of a whole institution’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, and having an enabling environment for it to thrive, rather than an endpoint. Following an audit led by students trained by NUS, the University of Derby and its Union of Students were rewarded the Responsible Futures Accreditation for their achievements.

Responsible Futures logo

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