Edinburgh College Students' Association (ECSA) was highly commended at the College Development Network Awards 2022 for its joint work with Edinburgh College for successfully engaging students in Sustainability through the introduction of Sustainable Education Week and for the successes of the Go Green Project over the past two years. 

This award recognised the success of ECSA’s Go Green project which ran from April 2020 to June 2022. It focused on active travel, climate education, food waste reduction, and clothing re-use. Despite the project running through the global pandemic, almost all original targets were exceeded – engaging more than 3,000 students and diverting a total of around six metric tonnes of food and clothing from waste.

As part of the project, ECSA introduced Go Green Hubs at each of the College’s campuses which comprise of Community Fridges and Clothing and Accessories Swap Shops, allowing students to collect free food, clothing, accessories and books, and as a result have prevented items from going to landfill while helping to alleviate poverty during a financial crisis. The team also delivered Climate Change and Sustainability workshops to classes across the curriculum.

In addition to this, Edinburgh College managed to collect 3 awards and a commended, which celebrated the successes of student and staff projects across the College. 

The College were named winners in the Digital Learning, Inclusive College and Skills Development categories as well as being highly commended in Sustainability Action and commended in Digital Learning.

The College’s win in the Digital Learning category celebrates the work of a Virtual Reality (VR) Dementia programme created in partnership with tech experts. The project sees the College utilise VR within its Digital Care Hub to provide a unique learning experience for students studying across health and social care courses, this enables them to develop their skills and understanding of working with people suffering from dementia.

In the same category, the College’s Call to Action project created by Performing Arts lecturer Clara Bloomfield, was commended. Call to Action saw students partner up with their counterparts from the other side of the globe to work together on exploring their identity and then using those conversations to inform theatre performances that would be shared globally online through the Call to Action website.

The College collected the Inclusive College award for its anti-racism work – becoming the first Scottish college to affiliate with the Black Leadership Group. In addition, managers undertook a four-part ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ training course exploring difficult conversations around racism and effective allyship; and the College also celebrated one year since the inaugural meeting of its Anti-Racist Unity Group (ARUG), a staff group which champions the College’s commitment to racial equality.

The Skills Development win recognised a project which supported unemployed people and those on low incomes to learn Data Science and Digital Skills. The Access Data Skills – Life, Learning and Work project provided participants with new qualifications and a pathway to careers in data and tech.


Edinburgh College Principal, Audrey Cumberford, said:

“Congratulations to all of our award-winning teams for their fantastic achievement. Each year I am amazed by the scale of innovative work that happens across our College and these awards are recognition of that special talent we have here at Edinburgh College. Well done to everyone involved.”