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ARU initiative wins national sustainability award

Published: 1 December 2023 at 15:36

Cambridge campus

Anglia Ruskin University wins Green Gown Award for its Ruskin Modules

A unique initiative encouraging thousands of students to tackle important issues facing society has won a national sustainability award for Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

ARU won the Next Generation Learning and Skills prize at the Green Gown Awards last night (30 November) at a ceremony at the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool for its Ruskin Modules. Another ARU project, Energy SHINES, was highly commended in the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Sustainability category.

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland. The awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the sector.

By taking part in the Ruskin Modules ARU students are encouraged to tackle global societal or cultural concerns that are uniquely difficult to resolve. These challenges align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and cover four themes: the future; social and environmental justice; technology and data; and work and enterprise.

The Ruskin Modules were introduced in September 2021 and so far, around 8,000 students have participated, helping them develop the skills employers need, such as collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking, while earning credit towards their main course of study.

Elaine Brown, ARU Institutional Lead for Personal Development Tutoring and Ruskin Modules, said:

“This award is fantastic recognition of our innovative, interdisciplinary Ruskin Modules, which are unique to ARU.

“Our Ruskin Modules bring students and educators from all areas of the university together to respond to challenges from the real world by integrating their knowledge, perspectives and experiences. We are incredibly proud that the opportunity this provides to apply course-based perspectives and skills in new ways has been recognised by the Green Gown Awards 2023.”

The Energy SHINES partnership, which received a highly commended award, is led by ARU’s Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) and looks at addressing the underrepresentation of women across energy research and bring new voices to bear on the real-world challenges faced by organisations as they transition to net zero carbon emissions. 

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“I am delighted at our success at the Green Gown Awards, and am proud of the staff that have delivered these excellent initiatives.”

“The Ruskin Modules are a truly unique and worthwhile feature to studying at ARU, and promoting the excellent work of our female researchers as part of the Energy SHINES project helps us make a positive difference to society.”