Keele University welcomes local students to inspire a sustainable future

Keele University welcomed local students to its campus this week to learn more about sustainability as part of the Keele COP26 Festival.

Higher Horizons, Keele’s branch of the Uni Connect Programme which aims to deliver free and impartial higher education outreach to local schools and colleges, hosted students from Newcastle Academy to learn more about renewable energy and take part in a unique geography lesson from Keele's Dr Richard Waller underneath Luke Jerram’s GAIA art installation in Keele Chapel.

The GCSE geography students also enjoyed a taster lecture from Professor Zoe Robinson, Professor of Sustainability in Higher Education at Keele, and a tour of the new Low Carbon Energy Generation Park.

The multi-technology energy park, which is situated on the Keele campus, is run in partnership with EQUANS - part of the ENGIE Group - and features a wind and solar farm, as well as an industrial-sized battery to store the generated energy.

Sabrina Lawton, Careers Lead at Newcastle Academy, said: “We’re really excited to be at Keele University – it's a great opportunity for the students to find out more about sustainability, which is so important and especially poignant as the visit has taken place at the same time as COP26.”

Dr Laura Tonge, Higher Horizons+ Keele Hub Manager, added: “Today was a fantastic opportunity for the students to share ideas and learn more about sustainability and climate change, whilst also experiencing what it would be like to study at university.”

The visit was held as part of Keele’s own COP26 Festival, a series of sustainability-themed events to coincide with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). The festival, which is taking place this week and comes to an end on Friday 12 November, has welcomed a range of community leaders on the Keele campus to discuss how local organisations and groups can positively impact Staffordshire’s contribution towards a more sustainable future.

Keele University is at the forefront of sustainability innovation and research, with its Institute for Sustainable Futures driving research into issues such as climate change, food security and clean energy on a local, national and global scale – culminating in the University being named as Global Sustainability Institution of the Year at the 2021 Green Gown awards.