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Community Based Learning in higher education: Linking students to green projects in Bristol

My name is Hannah Tweddell and I am the Cabot Institute’s Community Based Learning Intern and also an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Coordinator at the University of Bristol.  I studied Bristol's MSc in Environmental Policy and Management part time between 2011 and 2013 as part of the first two cohorts of students whilst also working part time as an ESD Intern in the University’s Sustainability team.

While we were studying for the MSc we were keen to undertake some real world problem solving as part of the course.  The department of Geographical Sciences teamed up with the Cabot Institute to facilitate the opportunity for community based learning projects and I was employed as an intern.

My role with the Cabot Institute involves identifying community partners who have a research need that could be met by a student’s dissertation project on the MSC in Environmental Policy and Management, scoping the project and managing the relationship with the community partner.

The aim of the project is to create links between the academic study of Environmental Policy and Management and the practice of it, in partnership with community and partner organisations in Bristol.   The partnerships provide the opportunity for students to make links with local organisations and undertake an interesting dissertation whilst also meeting a research need of a community partner to inform their work.

I scoped 25 projects with twelve community partners.  Nine students are currently undertaking projects with: Bedminster Energy Group, Bristol City Council, Bristol Green Capital’s transport action group, Bristol Power Cooperative, Greater Bedminster Community Partnership, the Soil Association and Transition Bristol.  Students will be blogging about their projects so keep an eye on the Cabot blog!

If you are a community partner interested in working with students on a research need then please do get in touch with me.

Read more about individual community based projects:
MSc student Julia Kole blogs on her work with the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership
MSc student Despoina Kyrkili blogs on her work with Bristol City Council and their Green Deal

This blog is by Hannah Tweddell, Community Based Learning Intern at the Cabot Institute, University of Bristol.  More about Community Based Learning at the Cabot Institute.

Hannah Tweddell

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