Sustainable students

Wednesday 25 June 2008

Scotland's first graduates in Sustainable Development with Programme Co-ordinator Dr Rehema White and Professor Jan Bebbington. (Credit: Rhona Rutherford)

Scotland’s first graduates in Sustainable Development collected their degrees at the University of St Andrews yesterday.

The University’s Sustainable Development Undergraduate Programme wasestablished in 2004 in response to local and international demands for expertise in this field.

It is one of only a few undergraduate courses focusing on the area ofsustainable development in the UK and beyond.  It has a unique structure with core interdisciplinary modules that are co-ordinated from the School of Geography and Geosciences but are taught by staff from eleven Schools across the University which are combined with specialist modules on partner subjects of the student’s choice.

The 23 graduates later celebrated at a reception and prize-giving ceremony where students were rewarded with Fairtrade products and gifts from the ‘Oxfam Unwrapped’ range.

The undergraduate degree in sustainable development at the University of St Andrews looks at the enormous environmental and developmental challenges of the 21st century.

Alternative pathways offered by sustainable development to achieve provisionof clean water, adequate sanitation, energy generation and supply, humanhealth, food production and distribution and the safeguarding of biodiversity to meet the needs of future generations are analysed within the course.

The graduating class of 23 students obtained a variety of specialisms insustainable development including biology, management, geography, divinity and philosophy. They have tailored course work to reflect their interests inenvironmental management, business and corporate social responsibility, social justice and ethics, climate change and international development.

At a time when sustainable development is rising ever higher up the national and international agenda and businesses and organisations accept the need to adopt more sustainable practices, there is a strong demand for graduates insustainable development particularly in government, NGOs, conservation andother environmentally-related areas including impact assessment, strategic planning and consultancy.

Among the variety of posts being taken up by those graduating today are arole within an industrial organisation in Budapest, a business research postat AEA and consultancy. One student is deferring taking up a career untilthey have completed a hike and cycle from St Andrews to London to participate in the Climate Change camp.

Sustainable Development Programme Co-ordinator Dr Rehema White commented, “It is fitting that the University of St Andrews see this group of students use their studies to nudge our world towards a brighter future. The University is pursuing sustainability in many of its activities.

“Through governance, sustainability is an institutional strategic goal. Inestates management, energy reduction, recycling and other activities the sustainable development goal is vigorously pursued and student groups have been instrumental in seeing not only the University but also the town accorded Fairtrade status as well as driving a campaign for ethical investment.”

For further information on the programme visit:


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050103, or email [email protected]
Ref:  Sustainable students 2506081
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