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Green mobility @ UT

countering the carbon footprint of university exchange
Quality Education; Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Climate Action; Responsible Consumption and Production
Open for application

Background 

Sustainability is the buzzword in international education in 2021. It can be noted in the UT’s Shaping 2030 ambitions as well as those of European Commission through the Green Deal and supported by the actions in the Erasmus+ programme and Horizon Europe. 

The provisional Regulation of determination of Erasmus+ programme recognized the aim that 30% of the EU budget must be dedicated the climate targets. Education and research programmes that include mobility (eg exchange with international universities and partners) are no exception to contribute to the aim. Sustainability extends beyond stimulating learners’ and researchers’ travel behavior. It’s about informing [awareness], promoting [stimulance], doing [engagement] and reflecting [behavior]. 

In the aftermath of the abrupt halt in mobilities due to the pandemic, the earth has benefitted from significantly reduced pollution. This anthropause has also led wildlife displaced by human activity prior to the pandemic to re-enter habitats now suddenly available. The hope is that these changes are structural improvements to the environment and that humans strive to uphold the status quo rather than resort to a form of ‘revenge’ mobility to make up for missed travels. The United Nations marked 2021 as a critical year to “reset our relationship with nature” as experts warned that “we are in a state of planetary emergency”. 

The University of Twente aims to reduce its CO2 footprint by 15% in 2023. However, international higher education can do far more than aim to balance effects of humans on the environment, and can contribute by having its impact be of a regenerative nature. 

Our challenge 

The idea is an approach complimentary those already set out by the Environment & Sustainability Policy Officer at the university of Twente (UT) as described in the Sustainability Policy for Operational Management (2020) and those traditionally widely applied (such as alternative travel methodologies and internationalization@home).   

The challenge is to find ideas that contribute to lessening the carbon footprint of the University of Twente community anticipated or active in mobility, regardless of the participant, the duration of the mobility, or form of the mobility. Preferably, the idea should be of a regenerative nature, conserving and enhancing the environment. 

Expected impact 

The ideas should lead to a significant decrease in the carbon footprint of the exchange programmes of students and employees of the University of Twente and other universities in the ECIU, preferably even leading to a positive effect on the environment and climate (regenerative approach).

Target groups 

All students and employees of the University of Twente and the ECIU partners. 

Expectations from students 

Active participation in the process, willingness to learn and step out of your comfort zone. A time investment of at least 4 – 6 hours per week on average, during the duration of the challenge.

This is an extracurriculair challenge with a lot of flexibility. You, your team mates and the challenge provider will craft the details of this challenge in cooperation. ECTS will be granted depending on your time investment.

  • Start: 10 October 2021 or shortly afterwards 
  • End date: 17 December 2021   
  • Preferably more than one team will be formed
  • ECTS or Certification information [tbd] 

Teamcher 

To be determined 

For more information contact:  

Marike Boertien 

Challenge coordinator University of Twente 

m.boertien@utwente.nl 

+31 6 24 898 340