Article by Magdalena Iordache Platis and Silvia Padure, University of Bucharest
The academic community at University of Bucharest, like in all other higher education institutions, is facing difficult times in the current pandemic situation, adapting to quick decision-making with the sole objective of making all processes functional and of a high quality. Since March, many students living in dormitories have decided to leave and go to their homes as academic activity moves online. After a few weeks of uncertainty, staff and students have realized that everything can continue, and in some cases, improve, incorporating more technological tools in daily life.
SAVES 2 is the perfect example of a project that demonstrates that even small changes can be beneficial, if messages are well crafted. SAVES 2, through both the Student Switch Off (SSO) and Student Switch Off+ (SSO+) campaigns for students living in dormitories and students living in the private rented sector respectively, was designed to provide learning opportunities on how to save energy and money in a rational, simple and very friendly way. Simple tips and tricks changed behaviors of students and the most impressive thing is that this happened mostly through e-mail and Facebook, tools that students use often and have proved efficient.
In the table below, we have put few relevant figures, but we want readers to understand that this selection was very difficult to make, as the entire project was full of professional but friendly energy saving related messages, full of enthusiasm and team-work, with high levels of participation from the students.
Our lessons learned from SAVES 2 showed both staff and students that simple things implemented in joint actions can make a difference. If academic leadership is committed to energy related objectives, then saving energy through already learned practices will have no end, even after SAVES 2 has officially finished. The Figure below describes the mechanisms that will go on through teaching and learning in curricular and extracurricular activities, and proper institutional decisions.
UoB is committed to developing sustainable actions. The last published Times Higher Education Impact Ranking placed our institution in the 201-300 range, being the first at a national level. Good practices and behaviors will go on with our message to all: Let’s promote togetherness-based energy saving!