UCEM receives the results from its first sustainability alumni survey
Posted on: 20 March, 2023
Alumni share their experiences of sustainability at UCEM
Working with SOS-UK (Students Organising for Sustainability), UCEM has conducted its first sustainability-themed alumni survey. In the summer of 2022, UCEM asked alumni to share their experiences of sustainability during their time at UCEM and how this has influenced them in their careers. We were grateful to receive 101 responses to our survey.
Sustainable development and social responsibility
60% reported that sustainable development was covered in depth on either a few occasions or frequently and 46% say social responsibility was covered in depth either on a few occasions or frequently. This increased to 70% and 51% respectively when looking at respondents who graduated between 2017-2022. The reason we segmented responses in this way is that 2017/18 was the academic year UCEM began its work for Responsible Futures. Year on year, UCEM colleagues have worked to enhance sustainability and social responsibility in areas such as learning, leadership, policy, opportunities and communications. As an example, last year ahead of Responsible Futures reaccreditation, undergraduate and postgraduate modules were mapped against the Sustainable Development Goals and found that all contained content on sustainability.
Results also showed that 82% and 71% of respondents think that sustainable development and social responsibility are of a high to moderate priority to UCEM, respectively. This increases to 90% and 79% in 2017-2022 graduates. We are keen that students and alumni see UCEM as synonymous with sustainability and social responsibility, and colleagues across UCEM will continue to work together to support this.
Our alumni’s relationship with sustainability
When we look back on the last decade in particular, issues around sustainability and climate change have only increased and this is reflected by 75% of respondents reporting that their relationship with sustainability has become more important since graduating. Our ethos is to provide the latest thinking and practices in sustainability and ensure our curricula evolves to meet changing social needs and values. In autumn 2022, UCEM launched Building Perspectives, a series of free CPD webinars on topical conversations around the built environment and sustainability.
The results from the survey will be used to help inform future engagement activities with alumni and current students. More information on the findings from this survey and the resulting actions will be shared through the monthly alumni newsletter.
Reflections from staff
Jessica Gordon-Calvert, UCEM’s Sustainability Education and Engagement Officer, who worked with UCEM colleagues and SOS-UK to launch the survey, commented:
“Our first sustainability alumni survey certainly had its challenges which we will be reflecting on and making changes for when we run the survey again in 2024. However, the findings have proven very insightful and have been integral in the planning stage of our future sustainability activity with both students and alumni. I’m excited to continue working with colleagues, students and alumni to enhance our sustainability agenda here at UCEM.”
Ekta Mirchandani-Khemlani, UCEM’s International and Alumni Marketing Assistant, who supports and engages with UCEM’s alumni throughout the year, adds:
“If you’re alumni looking to get involved in our activities and stay in touch with our large community, consider joining UCEM Global Community. This is a free, interactive platform exclusive to our alumni that allows them to connect with other alumni and take advantage of all the benefits of being a UCEM alumni. We are looking forward to sharing new activities, CPD opportunities and networking events in the upcoming future and are excited to share it all with our alumni.”
Call for alumni case studies
We’re in the process of gathering UCEM alumni stories in a series of case studies, like Tom’s here. If you would be interested in sharing your experiences in this interview series, please email Jessica via email@example.com.
How to get involved as a current student
This year’s Student Officers for Sustainability have created a sustainability forum on the VLE and a student-led sustainability WhatsApp group. You can find details of this on the forum.
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