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The funding will help students to engage with their universities and colleges on sustainable development, and to ensure that sustainability remains a priority with institutions.
NUS will run a single-round bidding competition in summer 2013, to allocate the funding. The funded projects will then receive the funding over two full academic years (2013-14 and 2014-15).
The Students’ Green Fund will encourage local collaborative sustainability initiatives through students’ unions, putting students in the driving seat for sustainability engagement initiatives, as well as supporting them in their role as agents for change.
NUS is determined to create a social norm of sustainability in institutions. The groundwork laid by initiatives such as Student Switch Off in university halls of residence, the sustainable growth programme, Student Eats, and Green Impact, will be strengthened by the Students’ Green Fund.
HEFCE recently signed up to NUS’ national environmental accreditation and awards scheme - Green Impact. Run by trained students, Green Impact uses a series of online workbooks to help staff achieve a range of green targets. These include increasing recycling of food and drink packaging, reducing energy use, sourcing sustainable products, and promoting the use of public transport.
Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive, HEFCE said:
'We are very pleased to be able to support this excellent student-led initiative. It has the full support of the sector and will play an important role in helping meet challenging carbon targets and wider sustainable development goals.'
Engagement is a key theme of the Students’ Green Fund. It aims to engage everyone from students to governors to course representatives and the wider community. A key priority for the fund will be strategic community partnerships that encourage community learning and development in the area of sustainability.
Danielle Grufferty, NUS Vice President Society and Citizenship said:
'We are really excited to build on the sustainability work begun by NUS through Green Impact. HEFCE’s investment in students indicates a firm commitment to producing those who are both qualified and sustainably literate when they graduate.'