Impacts of COVID-19 on student engagement with sustainability

Carys Doyle (BA Geography) tells us about her research placement with the Sustainability Service exploring the Impacts of COVID-19 on student engagement with sustainability.

What is your favourite thing about the University of Leeds?

The culture at the Leeds is great, I admire the openness at the University and the forward-thinking that is implemented throughout the institution. One of my favourite things is the variety of architecture that is shown throughout campus and different ways you can see wildlife, such as the pond in front of Roger Stevens, the sustainable garden and the bunnies you can see around campus is amazing.

Give us a brief explanation of what this research project is about?

My research project will be focusing on University of Leeds students and their attitudes towards Sustainability on campus, but also their personal lifestyle choices. The project will explore how and in which ways the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted this. The project will use data and students opinions identify what can be improved and what students would like to see for the future of the University of Leeds academically and informally.

Where did your interest in sustainability stem from?

My interest in sustainability stemmed from a discovery module in my first year of University which was an environmental science module. This introduced me to different aspects of sustainability, and since then I have gone on to study a Havard course on the Health effects of climate change, get a placement incorporating sustainability and joined the Envirosoc.

What are you most enjoying about your research project?

I am most enjoying learning about all the different aspects of sustainability that the University implement around campus and being able to reiterate this towards students to increase their awareness. It will be great to interact with students and get a variety of opinions on how they interpret sustainability, in order to suggest the best-fit solutions moving forward.

Why did you choose this research project?

At this time sustainability is an increasingly popular concept that is ever-changing. In the light of COVID-19 times, it will be incredibly interesting to see what impacts this has and what students priorities are in this strange and changing period of time.

How has the Sustainability Service supported you/help in this?

The sustainability service has supported me in providing me with knowledge on their policies, feedback for my ideas, survey and interview questions that I will be asking students at the University of Leeds. This will enable me to make my survey as engaging as possible and get the best insights into sustainability and COVID-19.

If you would like to find out more about focussing on sustainability in your research project take a look at our sustainable research projects webpage.

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Carys’s work on exploring the Impacts of COVID-19 on student engagement with sustainability is linked to the following SDGs:

      • Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
      • Goal 4: Quality Education
      • Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
      • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
      • Goal 13: Climate Action

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.