Especially in Australia, where she is based, that inter-office
collaboration has never been a particularly strong,
Lamont adds. This could be down to an under-resourced
and understaffed sustainability office that is only able to
focus on basic requirements like measuring emissions and
giving input into building standards, she adds.
“There are obviously a number of offices that do a lot
more than that, but they’re not specialists in international
education and they don’t really understand how it works.”
That is not down to lack of ambition, Lamont says. The
sustainability team at the UK’s University of Newcastle, for
example, runs events in tandem with the international office.
With the attention she recieves in the media, it may be easy
to conclude that Greta Thunberg is the voice of a genera-tion.
But will students from here on out be making decisions
based on environmental concerns?
China, along with being the world’s largest producer of
international students, is also by all accounts the world’s
leading carbon emitter (the country emits more carbon
dioxide than Europe, Africa and South America combined).
But do its students care?
In 2020, climate change rose to its “highest-ever” posi-tion
in Allianz’s annual risk barometer. Companies said the
biggest concern was physical losses from extreme weather
events but that they also feared consumer criticism and
increasing regulatory and legal action. And that consumer
criticism is translatable to the international education sector.
Students from key markets like China or India might not
be increasingly interested in this topic just yet, explains Ni-kula,
despite having their own climate warriors such as Zhao
Jiaxin and Howey Ou, or India’s Aditya Mukarji.
ISSUE #25 | THE PIE REVIEW | 43
In Canada the University
of Waterloo is creating a
“green oasis” on campus as
part of a strategy to tackle
In Canada, University of Waterloo’s strategy focuses on
creating a “green oasis” on campus, while the University
of Leeds in the UK spotlights being a positive partner in
the broader community with regards to carbon reduction.
However, “do they include climate change points on the
internationalisation strategies? I don’t know of any interna-tional
strategies that do,” Shields notes.
However, the University of Stirling’s deputy principal (in-ternationalisation)
Neville Wylie highlights the UK’s Univer-sity
of Exeter’s forward-thinking strategy, which considers
the university’s total emissions impact. The strategy requires
indirect emissions to be halved by 2030.
Inclusive and exclusive strategies
Exeter also plans for long-haul air travel to be cut by 50
per cent by 2025. A five per cent “top slice” from interna-tional
student fees will additionally go into a new ‘Exeter
Climate and Environment Fund’ for climate crisis research,
emissions-tackling projects, and to fuel the university’s drive
towards carbon neutrality and environmental net gain.
It estimates that carbon emissions created by internatio-nal
students travelling home may contribute around 19 per
cent of the institution’s total emissions.
However, similar strategies may be lurking out of reach
due to “silo mentality”, which may have hampered sustaina-bility
and international office cooperation, Nikula contends.
“We probably need to do more within institution collabora-tion
as well and have a more holistic look at everything we
do from a different perspective.”
PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO
are prepared to switch
brands based on