The International Relations Office at the University of Economics – Varna took part in a discussion on the impact of student mobility under the Erasmus+ programme on the environment, and good practices students and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can adopt to deal with climate change. Participants in the Green Erasmus Project, coordinated by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), presented the results from their research on habits of international students during Erasmus+ mobility and the challenges both students and HEIs face in their aspiration for sustainable internationalisation. An online survey, which received responses from over 20,000 students and more than 150 HEIs, showed that students are more likely to display environmentally-friendly habits when on mobility than at home, and that they often support the strategy for sustainable internationalisation of their host university. Well-working practices which are often used included daily commutes on foot instead of using public transport, as well as the reduced use of plane travel for tourism purposes.
Students also encourage HEIs to develop better opportunities for recycling, food-waste composting, and donation of clothes and items for charity as part of their strategies for sustainable internationalisation. On the other hand, universities are willing to promote sustainability and inform their staff and students on environmental issues, but often face difficulties when implementing their strategies for sustainable internationalisation due to lack of time and resources, and insufficient support from leadership. Participants in the Green Erasmus Project encouraged HEIs to pay closer attention to the need of target groups which they want to educate on environmental issues and sustainability, and to consider more thoroughly students’ ideas for improving their strategies for sustainable internationalisation.
For more information on the Green Erasmus Project, please visit https://greenerasmus.org/
07 Feb 2022