Categories Education

Uni students pop-up to help tackle global issues

Students at the University of Gloucestershire have been singled out for praise by the United Nations (UN) for their work to engage people in complex world issues.

The students were featured in a UN report on what universities are doing to help make the world a better place for everyone, regardless of where they live.

The report was based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These goals, launched in 2016, aim to tackle 17 of the most hard-hitting challenges facing the world today, including poverty, inequality, climate change and the environment.

The UN’s praise for the students follows a series of interactive games that they organised for more than 800 people at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in May this year.

The ‘pop-up’ experience at the festival featured fun activities such as a mini-golf game, with each hole representing an aspect of modern city life. Families had to navigate the course by engaging with information linked to the UN challenges, and learn how to make cities inclusive, safe and sustainable.

There were also games for children to act out an underwater dive where they learned about plastics and other polluting items in the sea, and how they could be recycled or dealt with differently.

The students’ work has also captured the attention of the National Outdoor Events Association, resulting in them being shortlisted for an award at their annual ceremony to be held in November.

Clair Greenaway at the University of Gloucestershire said:

The aim of this project was to encourage our students, and the children and families with whom they interacted, to think about sustainability in a broader and deeper way.

We wanted to go beyond simple messages linked to carbon footprints and food miles and get people thinking about the issues linked to the UN’s Global Goals.

The project formed part of a final year assessment for 40 events management students at the university.