The University of St Andrews has been named as the UK’s top university for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development.
St Andrews, which received the award at the Times Higher Awards 2006, on Wednesday night, at a special ceremony in London, was also recognised as one of the students’ favourite UK universities, landing runner up for Best Student Experience.
The Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development award recognises the University’s drive to become a leader in sustainable development by integrating policies and activities across its operational and educational activity.
The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) award, made in association with Forum for the Future, looked for entries covering the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development, with proven achievement over the past year. Sarah Parkin, co-founder of Forum for the Future, said: “St Andrews’ partnership with students, along with innovative multidisciplinary teaching methods, a commitment to executive leadership and bottom-up engagement of staff and students, tipped the balance.”
St Andrews is charting the progress of the first student cohort taking a four-year interdisciplinary honours degree in sustainable development. The award was received by nominees, Charles Warren, Pat Wilmer and Jan Bebbington, who all serve on the degree programme’s management committee.
Charles Warren comments: “We are delighted to receive this award. Since June 2005 we have made some exciting progress in this area. Based on its research excellence and on the internationally renowned St Andrews Prize for the Environment the University is now becoming a sector-leading exemplar of sustainability in practice.”
Other contributing factors include the University’s far-reaching Sustainability Strategy and carbon budget, and the successful achievement of Fairtrade status by the University and the Students’ Association.
The Best Student Experience award – based on results of an online survey, in which 6,552 full-time undergraduates at 97 universities gave ratings – included views on lectures, courses, social life and union, environment, community atmosphere amongst others. St Andrews was one of only two Scottish universities to make it into the shortlist and was praised for its campus environment and student societies.
University of St Andrews’ Vice- Principal Stephen Magee, said: “This is a wonderful result for St Andrews. The University has already established its reputation as an environmental innovator. Crucially, the drive to make the University of St Andrews a leader in sustainable development has been across the board; executive leadership has been more than matched by student enthusiasm.
“It is also extremely gratifying for St Andrews to be recognised by the students for Best Student Experience themselves, particularly as the University was one of only two chosen from Scotland. We hope to build on this success next year.”
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Ref: THES2006 View the latest University press releases at http://www.st- andrews.ac.ukAwards