UWE Bristol has become the first university in the UK to introduce a free course about the climate emergency for all students.
The comprehensive online course was developed with students following a successful campaign led by UWE Bristol undergraduates Adam Edwards and Harry O’Higgins. They launched a petition in 2022 calling on the University to implement compulsory climate change education, arguing that every student at UWE Bristol should have climate education as part of their university experience.
Supported by The Students’ Union at UWE, the pair took their arguments to the University’s Vice-Chancellor who agreed to the development of the course in close collaboration with students.
Read about the journey to create the climate education course and why it is critical here.
To mark the launch of the course, UWE Bristol and The Students’ Union at UWE hosted a special event ‘Are we consuming our way to climate change’, a conversation with Aja Barber on the impact of fast fashion and consumer culture on social justice and climate change.
Aja shared with UWE students her voice, experience and perspective highlighting the undercurrents of consumerism, colonialism and social inequality which are a major contributor to the climate crisis and the social and global injustice we are currently witnessing. In her book ‘Consumed’ Aja takes us deep into thinking about how social media and our cultural norms are promoting over consumption and what this means for those who produce the goods we’re buying and the impact on the environmental world.
One of UWE’s own students posed questions to Aja for the launch event and lent her own experience to students’ questions during the Q&A session as an active sustainability advocate. Charlotte Watkivs is a midwifery student, but her own sustainability journey and experiences have been documented through a TEDx talk she gave in 2019 and she has given further insight to those coming to UWE by creating a series of podcasts for the University.
What did we learn at this launch event?
What individual actions can you take?
I missed this event, can I catch up?
You can watch back the event via this link.
How do I sign up to the climate education course?
UWE Climate Education starts here. Join the conversation, hear the uncomfortable truths and find a place of action and community that can help you feel empowered to act in the face of the climate crisis.
Climate change will shape how we work in every sector. Being ready to face these challenges is key.
Here at UWE Bristol want to equip you to face these challenges. The climate education course is a great first step to starting this journey.
The course aims to empower you to choose to take action on helping to prevent, mitigate and adapt to climate change and see the connection to the choices and future career paths you may take.
Don’t be discouraged about the climate crisis - think of it as a brand-new challenge and an opportunity.
In Aja Barber’s words ‘Build a world we can all get behind’.
Go to Blackboard to enrol on the climate education course now.
How else can I get involved at UWE Bristol?
Contact The Students’ Union’s Green Team to get involved in projects and events: https://www.thestudentsunion.co.uk/getinvolved/thegreenteam/