Article by Magdalena Iordache Platis, Country Manager UoB
The academic community has always been involved in teaching and research activities, but higher education institutions have faced an important shift regarding the third mission and universities are now increasingly civically engaged: both academics and students work together in extra-curricular & voluntary projects. Saving energy at the University of Bucharest has become an important direction for individual and team engagement, in part due to the SAVES 2 project. The team regularly welcomes new students that have heard about Student Switch Off and Student Switch Off+ and want to be part of them, with many needing more information on why saving energy is important. This generates a set of other follow-up questions, illustrated below, together with the main answers:
1. What do we (students) have to do? Learn, act and show how you saved energy
2. How can we (students) contribute? Be active in SAVES 2: enter competitions, take the quizzes, answer questionnaires, join us on dormitory visits, follow us on Instagram etc.
3. How do we (students) know that what we do really has an impact? Look at the energy dashboard to see energy savings within the dormitories. More resources from saving energy will be reallocated to new projects/actions.
The next figure also reflects the logical flow of thinking that sooner or later conducts to energy savings.
At UoB students have learned to work together and share what they have learned. Not just because they want to become good citizens (this is a long-term goal), but because by saving energy they develop themselves into a better person, more connected to others, and more willing to develop other projects. The fun that comes together with SAVES 2 activities is a bonus!
As part of the Marketing academic course at UoB, professors consider student engagement in SSO & SSO+ as a practical activity to demonstrate marketing campaigns raising awareness. Linking the formal curriculum with the informal curriculum is key to fully rounded engagement in the campaigns. Furthermore, in the last year of SAVES 2, the UoB team have created Instagram and Facebook content that has done a good job of engaging lots of students as active followers.
Let’s wish students good luck in marketing campaigns and saving energy!