Every year the UC Academic Services Group sends a survey called ‘UC Count’ to all students enrolled at the University of Canterbury. This year UC Count was used for the first time to survey students about sustainability issues on campus. 3,718 students responded to questions about sustainability -90% of all the people who responded to the survey.
Here at the Sustainability Office, we’re really excited about the results because it shows that the majority of respondents consider sustainability issues to be important. The top ranking operational issues were improving water quality in the streams that flow through campus (85% rated this at moderately to extremely important), and reducing carbon emissions (83% rated this at moderately to extremely important). Improving on-campus cycling infrastructure was also considered a high priority at 80%.
However, operational issues are only part of UC’s journey towards a sustainable future. Just as important is the task of educating students about sustainability and enabling them to be proactive about these issues throughout their careers. The results from this year’s survey show that the majority of students thinks that they need knowledge about sustainability practices for future employment, and there is a need for UC to expand the sustainability curriculum. These results are consistent with similar surveys in prior years, and demonstrate clearly that students care about the future of UC itself, and what they learn whilst they are here.