< News

10 years of research on education and sustainability

In 2010-11 we started a survey to understand more about student expectations and experiences of sustainability for their time in education.  In 2019-20, we completed the tenth annual year of this research, with the findings showing that demand from students in this area is strong as ever.

A national UK online survey was completed by over 6000 students studying in higher education in October 2019 to build on the data gathered through nine years of previous research, and bringing the number of students who've participated in the research to over 70,000.  The research continues to track student experiences and expectations around teaching and learning for sustainability.  The research includes areas of questioning on student experiences of learning about key topics encompassed by sustainability as well as understanding in better detail their experiences of accumulating skills that can contribute to sustainability.  We found sustainability to have continuing importance to students in higher education in 2019-20, and key changes seen in this year�s data, in comparison with the 2018-19 study, include:

  • How seriously the university takes environmental and global developmental issues is reported to be a factor influencing their choice of place to study by 52%, up from 45% in 2018-19
  • 91% say they agree their place of study should actively incorporate and promote sustainable development compared to 88% in 2018-19
  • 65% say sustainable development is something they would like to learn more about compared with 59% in 2018-1979% recognise the positive action their place of study is taking to address negative impacts on the environment and society compared to 74% in 2018-19
  • 73% say the chance to work in an organisation / company that makes a difference to environmental and social issues is a factor they�ll consider when applying for jobs, compared to 69% in 2018-19
  • 77% say they�re willing to accept an annual salary sacrifice of �1,000 to work in a company with a positive environmental and social record, compared with 75% in 2018-19


The full report can be found online here along with the nine previous reports.