Nottingham Trent University Green Academy joins debate on food challenges with new qualification

Nottingham Trent University students have been awarded a ground-breaking qualification as part of the institution's status as one of just ten Higher Education Green Academies in the UK.

Nottingham Trent University students have been awarded a ground-breaking qualification as part of the institution's status as one of just ten Higher Education Green Academies in the UK.

The sustainability qualification is on top of their usual course work and aims to enhance employability and build on skills such as critical thinking and creativity.

More than 70 students, as well as several members of staff, have successfully completed on-line study for the Sustainability in Practice certificate. Sessions included online learning tasks, video presentations and discussion – all on the subject of food, which is the theme of the Nottingham Trent University Green Academy.

Food production and consumption is a critical local and global sustainability challenge in the widest sense – economic and social as well as environmental.

Green Academy project team leader Dr Petra Molthan-Hill from Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University, said: "This is part of our commitment to place sustainability at the heart of everything we do.

"The Sustainability in Practice certificate is a practical way to demonstrate to both staff and students across the University how we can contribute to a better future for all.

"As one of only a handful of Higher Education Academy Green Academies in the UK it is important we continue to lead the way with initiatives like this.

"The certificate covers agriculture, food production methods, nutrition, transport, waste, packaging, energy, climate change, biofuels, biotechnology, commodity prices, trade and biodiversity."

Starting with food miles, other topics include organic food, fair trade, genetically modified food and bio-fuels.

Participants had to explain how sustainability and food relate to their primary area of study or teaching.

For example, Nottingham Law School participants looked at how national and regional governments can create legal frameworks which help promote food sustainability.

Meanwhile Nottingham Business School participants examined ways education could be used to influence consumer choices and students from the School of Art & Design and the School of Architecture and the Built Environment looked at how packaging design could help cut consumption of raw materials.

Over four weeks of on-line study, participants also considered the potential impact of other disciplines within the University on sustainability and food, offering them insights into areas outside their own expertise.

All participants who completed the course entered a competition to create a three-minute video on the subject of food and sustainability. The best entries from academic schools across the University were nominated for a special award.

The overall winner in the student category was Ella-Louise Benning, a linguistics student from the School of Arts and Humanities who examined how language can be used to influence food choices.

Debbie Scott was the overall winner in the staff category. She looked at how clear policies on food legislation can have a positive impact on the type of animal products for consumers.

The awards night took place as part of Nottingham Trent University's Global Week activities. This was followed by a Higher Education Academy workshop and seminar that aimed to demonstrate how Nottingham Trent University is engaging both staff and students during the current academic year in embedding sustainable development into the curriculum.

It also showcased all the ideas the certificate participants came up with as they examined the challenges of feeding the global population in a sustainable manner.

Nottingham Trent University Green Academy joins debate on food challenges with new qualification

Published on 18 March 2014
  • Category: Environment and sustainability; Press office; School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences; School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment; School of Art & Design; School of Arts and Humanities; Nottingham Business School; Nottingham Institute of Education; Nottingham Law School; School of Science and Technology; School of Social Sciences

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