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Sustainability Skills 2021-22 research report launched

July 26, 2022

For the 12th year running, we sent out the Sustainability Skills survey to students across the country. As with previous years, the results show that student demand for sustainability to be better incorporated into education is high.

Over 8500 students completed our online survey in October and November 2021, building on years of research gathered in this longitudinal survey. The research continues to explore the expectations and perceptions students have around sustainability education. We asked students about their understanding of sustainability, their learning on key sustainability skills and topics and for their thoughts on sustainability and employment.

Our report, focused on the responses from students in higher education, shows sustainability continues to be an important part of education for students at this level in 2021-22. Changes from the previous year include:

  • While still high, some figures have decreased from 2020-21. 88% say their place of study should actively incorporate and promote sustainable development, down from 91% in 2020-21 and 79% would like to see sustainable development. actively incorporated through all courses, down from 84% the previous year.
  • 66% say they’d like to learn more about sustainable development, as in 2020-21. Additionally, 68% say that thinking about ethical issues linked to their subject has been covered, up from 66% in 2020-21. 40% say that the causes of inequality have been covered, up from 35% the previous year.
  • 71% agree that their university takes action to limit damage to the environment, down from 74% the previous year but 67% agree that their university encourages them to think about and help the environment, up from 65% the previous year.
  • The majority of students still say the chance to work in an organisation that makes a difference to environmental and/or social issues is something they would consider at the application stage but 77% would accept an annual salary sacrifice of £1000 to work for an organisation that has a good environmental and social record, down from 80% in 2020-21.

The study will continue this year, with the 2022-23 online survey being sent out and completed from 24th October 2022 to 13th November 2022. Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date with the 2022-23 research.

For more information, you can find the full report and previous reports here.