QMU Net-Zero Strategy: Engagement & Collaboration

Engagement & Collaboration

Delivering on the commitments to net-zero requires us to engage with and influence those with whom we connect, be those staff, students, visitors, local and international partners. 

We will strive to nurture a culture of engagement with our staff and students on climate change and sustainability to foster greater understanding and create the potential for positive behaviour changes in their own lives and of those they connect with to develop resilience and adaptability. 

Climate impacts are not simply about what we experience in our campus location. Action to deliver change at scale which impacts beyond our physical boundaries will require us to build partnerships and collaborate with others.  

We will continue to build on our relationships with the excellent networks which support the higher and further education sector in advancing delivery of local, national, and international commitments, building coherent strategies and identifying synergies across all university operations and maximising impact with our broad range of partners and stakeholders on a local national and global basis. 

Case Study - Outdoor Learning Hub and 'Wee Forest'

QMU has created an Outdoor Learning Hub and planted a 'Wee Forest' on the campus to enrich our students' experience, connect to our communities, and contribute to national and global concerns in education, sustainability, health and wellbeing.

QMU worked in partnership with Architecture & Design Scotland (A&DS) and Nature Scot to develop outdoor learning spaces to model environment that a school or community group may have access to within their locality. The Hub is roots in our commitment to social justice, sustainability, health and wellbeing, creative approaches to curriculum and pedagogy, and making a positive impact in our communities.

The Initiative is already demonstrating outcomes including:

  • an Outdoor 'Discovery Trail'
  • a Sheltered open air gathering place for meeting, performing, teaching and learning
  • a 'Wee Forest' funding by Nature Scot
  • a centre of digital and STEM activity connecting the natural and virtual world
  • integration  of outdoor learning into the delivery of Education degrees
  • a micro-qualification short course at Masters level- Marking Place for Outdoor learning - aimed at teachers and community educators 
  • PhD research into outdoor learning and sustainability

The project will have ongoing impact by enriching the undergraduate & postgraduate curriculum and student experience though the creation of new outdoor teaching spaces, courses and qualifications. QMU has already embedded outdoor learning into our Education programmes including Primary, Education studies and Post graduate courses. The Development supports carbon capture, improving the campus as a place for nature and leading to many 'acorns' being planted though the people who engaged wan learn from the work.

QMU Outdoor is having impact on the local community by enhancing campus as a place for community activity, engagement, health and wellbeing and is already becoming a centre for local and national engagement in outdoor learning practice, leadership and professional development. The intention is to provide an exemplar project to contribute to National agendas such as: Learning for Sustainability; Health and Wellbeing; STEM; Skills Agenda; Attainment challenge; and the 4th National Planning Framework.

Locally, we will build on our role as a civic University through our partnerships with our local authority East Lothian Council and those neighbouring authorities where our operations can be mutually leveraged for greater impact particularly in relation to energy, employment and economic activity and transport, as well as voluntary and third sector bodies and commercial partners.