Fairtrade remains essential to universities despite disruption to academic year

Fairtrade remains essential to universities despite disruption to academic year

The Fairtrade Foundation is proud to announce that four new UK universities have achieved the prestigious Fairtrade University and College Award in the midst of the pandemic.

Buckinghamshire New University, the University of Bristol, the University of Chichester, and the University of Worcester, in partnership with their Students Unions, have all achieved the prestigious award this week. The award recognises the work they have all undertaken over the last two academic years towards developing an understanding of trade, globalisation and consumption within the university. To achieve the award despite the challenges faced by students during the pandemic, such as home learning and isolation from friends and family, is outstanding.

The award is delivered in partnership by The Fairtrade Foundation, the National Union of Students, and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK). The award structure encourages partnership between students and both academic and non-teaching staff in the institution as well as the students’ union. It covers procurement, awareness raising and campaigning activities. There are also opportunities to engage through teaching and the flexibility to receive points for innovative thinking.

Joanna Milis, Education Campaigns Manager at the Fairtrade Foundation, says:

‘Completing the Fairtrade University and College Award in 2021 is a remarkable achievement. All aspects of university life have been significantly impacted by the global pandemic. Institutions have had to manage frequently changing requirements for staff and student attendance on campus. They have also had to quickly adapt to a very different teaching style and format. It is, therefore, particularly commendable that these institutions have maintained their commitment to Fairtrade.

‘At a time when young people are forming their values and shaping their future careers, it is essential that they are presented with a wide range of narratives and opportunities to think differently about the world. This pandemic has clearly demonstrated that we are one global community – our decisions have far-reaching consequences and only together can we tackle the biggest challenges facing our planet and its inhabitants. As students prepare to one day take their places as the decision makers and leaders of our shared world, we must develop them to deal with the multiple crisis we face, from climate change to the effects of the global pandemic.’

There are already 36 institutions registered to take part in the award programme starting in Autumn 2021 but there is still time for your institution to join the programme.

Contact university@fairtrade.org.uk to find out how you can take part.

-ENDS-

For more information on this story, please contact Mollie Letheren Smith: mollie.letherensmith@fairtrade.org.uk or Joanna Milis: joanna.milis@fairtrade.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) is a new educational charity created by students and staff at NUS in response to the climate emergency and ecological crisis. They actively support students to be the change that society urgently needs, helping them learn, act and lead on sustainability.

Fairtrade Foundation and SOS-UK support universities and colleges to explore globalisation, trade, ethical consumption and sustainability.

Find more information about Fairtrade Universities and Colleges