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The Student Sustainability Research Conference 2024: an event with collaboration at its core

Sustainable Curriculum

The University of Leeds Sustainability Service proudly hosted its annual Student Sustainability Research Conference on Wednesday 6 March 2024, with an unprecedented turnout that exceeded all expectations.

The conference saw more than 500 people register to take part, including students, staff and community members. The event showcased the invaluable research of 108 student contributors from 14 educational institutions, across a diverse range of topics, angles and discussions around all seventeen of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The event was opened by Professor Jeff Grabill, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education and Jenny Wilson, Director of Campus Innovation: Masterplanning, Asset Management & Sustainability, along with a panel of student researchers. And the final session involved a panel featuring Dr Clare Richardson-Barlow (University of Leeds), Rosa Foster (Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission) and David Loseby (Emerald Publishing), alongside Thom Cooper (Head of Sustainability, University of Leeds) .

For the second year in a row, the conference highlighted the collaborative efforts of students at the 12 member institutions of Yorkshire Universities, encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue among students from various academic backgrounds. From arts and languages to science and environment, the breadth of topics explored underscored how crucial it is to take a diverse and eclectic approach to sustainability. 

New partnerships

One of the conference's highlights was the establishment of new partnerships, notably with the London Student Sustainability Conference. This exciting collaboration saw three Yorkshire students present their research at the London Student Sustainability Conference held this year at Imperial College London.  In turn, the SSRC welcomed three student groups from London to present in Leeds. This provided the opportunity to further enrich the exchange of ideas and perspectives. 

The conference also teamed up with the University of Leeds’ Employer Engagement team, as part of a Spotlight on Sustainability series of careers events. The day of the conference featured a Careers in Sustainability networking event which provided students with invaluable opportunities to connect with leading employers in the sustainability and academic sector, including the Yorkshire Humber Climate Commission, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, and Emerald Publishing. 

Providing a sustainable curriculum

The success of this year’s Student Sustainability Research Conference exemplifies the institution's commitment to providing a sustainable curriculum, a core element of its Climate Plan. As part of the plan, the University aims to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the curriculum, providing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle global challenges. Through initiatives like the conference, the University ensures that students from diverse disciplines engage with sustainability and climate issues, creating a culture of innovation and impactful action.

We look forward to seeing the Student Sustainability Research Conference develop further in future years, and serve as a testament to the collective effort in driving positive change both within the institution and beyond.


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

SDG logo made up of a wheel with 17 different colours.We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. The Student Sustainability Research Conference is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.