Tag Archives: sustainability

News from the Association of Commonwealth Universities

Included below:

  • Internationalisation and the challenges and opportunities for international offices going forward.
  • Policy brief featuring recommendations for governments and universities to take swift action to ensure no one is left behind in the shift online.
  • Funding – gender initiative grants and fellowship funding.
  • Librarians – virtual conference.
  • Sustainable Urbanisation Programme news.

Almost six months into the global pandemic, the impacts upon universities have been – and continue to be – profound.

In response, universities – and the individuals and offices within them – have shown incredible resilience in adapting and innovating to advance their teaching and learning, research, and service missions. Those particularly responsible for internationalisation within their institutions are no exception.

The ACU recently convened a group of internationalisation leaders from six member universities to reflect upon the challenges and opportunities for international offices going forward.

These leaders shared experiences of the ways in which their work had changed significantly. The need for more virtual internationalisation opportunities in the wake of limited mobility activities (a traditional mainstay of universities’ internationalisation efforts) is one key example.

Collectively, they agreed that internationalisation remains a core priority for their respective universities. Indeed, this period has highlighted the critical importance of, for instance, cross-cultural learning and transnational research collaboration. The ACU will be taking these discussions forward through its member Champions.

My own work with the ACU so far this year has shown me the value of the symbiotic relationship between international university networks and individual universities.

Networks, for their part, connect, convene, innovate, and advocate to create the right opportunities for their members for the times we are in. This, in turn, allows universities to focus upon what they do best – directly engaging their students, researchers, and communities.

I invite you to review this issue of Synthesis – and the ACU’s latest activities – to see how such a synergy is playing out in real time. With its online events, Networks and Communities, programming, and UN engagement, the ACU has built an international structure of opportunities. Members can then select those that advance their particular priorities.

While calls for transparency and effectiveness predate, of course, the pandemic, they have become louder during recent months. Judicious engagement in international networks by universities can help all achieve their goals. I look forward to future opportunities to work with the ACU to help convene and support universities as they navigate this new landscape in higher education.

Kind regards, Professor Ian Rowlands,
School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability,
University of Waterloo, Canada

A snapshot of digital engagement in Commonwealth universities 

The results of the ACU’s recent digital engagement survey highlight a stubborn digital divide and its impact on higher education. Our new policy brief features recommendations for governments and universities to take swift action to ensure no one is left behind in the shift online.

ACU Gender Grants 2020 – applications now open!

10 ACU Gender Grants, up to a maximum value of GBP 1,000 each, are now available to staff at ACU member universities who are working to promote gender equity and equality in their institutions. The deadline for applications is 20 September 2020, 11.59 pm (BST).

ACU Fellowships – coming soon

Applications will open this month for ACU Fellowships, aimed at academic and professional staff of ACU member universities in any country to promote the exchange of knowledge, skills, and ideas. These virtual fellowships will support collaboration at a distance and enable the creation of valuable new partnerships, as part of the ACU Digital Now strategy.

From zero to hero: Rising to the challenge in a time of crisis

The ACU is partnering with the University of Johannesburg’s Library for their virtual conference ‘From zero to hero: Rising to the challenge in a time of crisis’, on 14-15 September 2020.This conference will focus on the changing roles of librarians in the transforming landscape of information science in a time of global disruption.

Commonwealth Sustainable Urbanisation Programme

‘The Commonwealth Sustainable Urbanisation Programme was a great learning experience where I understood multiple stakeholders’ perspectives on a range of issues surrounding urban development. Such initiatives can push for more innovation and collaboration, which is significant in addressing any crisis.’ – Rohit Pradeep Lahoti, 2019 Commonwealth Scholar

This programme of online events on the important issue of sustainable urbanisation was curated by the ACU and our partners.

For all information go to the ACU home page.

Ka kite anō au i a kōrua Karen Mather, People and Culture

MASK MAKING WORKSHOPS – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

The Student Volunteer Army and the UC Sustainability Office have teamed up to run a series of reusable face mask workshops on campus – and they need your help to make as many masks as possible for our UC community!

The next workshop is planned for Monday 7 September, with afternoon and early evening volunteer shifts available. To learn more and to register for a workshop, follow this link here.

Sewing experience for these workshops are not required (but is of course, welcomed). We have plenty of tasks like cutting, pinning and ironing for the non-sewers out there!

If you are unable to attend a workshop but would like to contribute by donating materials or making masks at home (all fabric and pattern supplied) please contact Chloe on chloe.wium@canterbury.ac.nz

Come along to a relaxed and fun workshop to make a mask for our UC students and staff, plus take a mask home for yourself! Keep an eye out for more workshops over the coming weeks as they are confirmed.

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. For more information on sustainability at UC, see our website.

Waste Education Workshops coming up this September

Did you know… That the amount of waste going to landfill in New Zealand has increased by over 20% in just the last three years? It is time to take action!

Waste Free with Kate is a waste education and inspirational speaking organisation who are coming to Christchurch this September to present their Waste Free Parenting, Waste Free Living Workshop and Foodlovers Masterclass.

These workshops are supported by Christchurch City Council and are a great opportunity to become educated and activated on reducing waste at home. Depending on which workshop you attend, you’ll leave inspired and equipped with knowledge on how to reduce your waste footprint and take control of your impact on our future!

Choose from Waste Free Parenting, Waste Free Living or Foodlovers (food waste) workshops, and take action with us.

Waste Free Parenting Workshops: Monday 14th September & Tuesday 15th September.

Waste Free Living Workshops: Monday 14th September & Friday 18th September.  

Foodlovers Masterclass: Friday 18th September.

Follow the links above for the full details and ticket information, or alternatively check out the Facebook events or the Waste Free with Kate website.

What else? You get a free pack with each ticket, bursting with waste minimization products!
 
These workshops are suitable for all households, flats, ages and stages. Why not take a friend and make it part of your Plastic Free July challenge?

 

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. 

Plastic Free July is here!

We’re gearing up for an entire month of celebrating all things plastic free during the worldwide Plastic Free July Campaign.

Take the challenge and ‘choose to refuse’ single use plastics with us during the month of July!

Want to get started?

  • Bring a reusable coffee cup to campus, and make the most of the $ savings that come with BYO mugs
  • Bring your lunch from home and avoid plastic cling film or if you’re buying food on campus, bring a container and avoid using a takeaway box or plate!
  • Take your own bags to get your groceries – and don’t forget smaller bags for loose produce
  • Drink loose leaf tea – did you know tea bags contain plastic?
  • Keep some reusable cutlery in your bag or office, so you’re not caught short if you do buy food out. A reusable straw is always handy too!
  • Don’t forget your reusable water bottle to fill up on the go
  • Want to challenge yourself? Get inspired with these ‘next steps’ for taking your Plastic Free July to another level.

Remember: The most sustainable item is one you already have! If you need reusables or other items to help you ditch single-use plastic, we encourage you to use what you have first. Nothing wrong with a jam jar as a coffee cup, or an ice-cream container for a lunch box we reckon…

Want some more help?

We’ve got a whole bunch of plastic free activities planned this month to help you along the way, including a free DIY beeswax wrap workshop, student bloggers sharing their experiences about taking on the challenge, and heaps of awesome plastic free giveaways over on our Facebook page.

Join us for a month of ditching single use plastics for good!

This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This is part of our contribution to Plastic Free July, where we encourage our UC community reduce single use plastics for the month. For more information and tips, see the Plastic Free July website.

UC Community Gardens win awards

We’re delighted to share that both UC Community Gardens on campus received an award at the recent Christchurch City Council Edible and Sustainable Garden Awards!

These awards are held annually as a partnership between the Christchurch City Council, Waipuna/Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board and the Canterbury Horticultural Society. The awards recognise and support individuals, groups, schools, communities and businesses that grow their own food. We’re proud to say both Waiutuutu Community Garden and Dovedale Community Garden received Community Awards for their organic and sustainable gardening practices.

Feast your eyes on some photos from our award winning gardens below!

Dovedale Community Garden

Proud Dovedale Gardeners: Melissa Xu, Aaron Kinname, Karen Hayes, Alistair Sharp, Michael Abrahamson, Kathrin Mathias, Andrew McGahan, Jane Meiforth, Ashlin Freear and Donghuan Xu with their garden award certificate

Dovedale Community Garden has existed for over 8 years as part of the Canterbury University gardens. Often used by Waiutuutu gardeners as a satellite garden to grow crops, it also has a wonderful group of regular volunteers who meet once a week to garden on private and group allotments. If you’re coming from off campus, you’ll find this hidden gem via the road from Solway Avenue. Follow the road and turn left where you will find a gateway to enter the garden straight ahead. For more information on Dovedale Garden and to join the community see the Facebook group here.

Waiutuutu Community Garden

Waiutuutu Community Garden was established in 2002 as an informal recreation and learning space for students, staff and anyone else associated with the University.  It utilises permaculture and organic growing methods –  this means no pesticides or chemical fertilisers are used, and there is an emphasis on creating a self-supporting ecosystem and using natural processes.

Everyone is welcome to join us on Friday afternoon working bees for gardening, good conversations and cups of herbal tea. The entrance to Waiutuutu Community Garden entrance is via the walking path from Engineering Road beside Okeover Stream. For more information on Waiutuutu Community Garden see our website, Facebook or email Niki Jones, Community Gardens Coordinator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wing (top) and Jess (bottom) enjoying what both seasons have to offer in Waiutuutu

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability.

 

If you’re interested in receiving regular gardening updates and news, please join our UC Community Gardens email list here.