The Platinum Jubilee Challenge

The Platinum Jubilee Challenge was launched in 2022 to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Its aim is to encourage leading UK universities and further education colleges to work together to tackle pressing contemporary issues, with different themes selected in the future. The Challenge will run alongside The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes scheme in its normal two-year cycle and is open to those current Prize-winners.

The 2022 Challenge

In 2022, the Challenge asks colleges and universities to help their sector reduce carbon emissions to net zero. It is open to the 21 Prize-winning institutions from the most recent round (Round 14) of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes.

The 12-month programme is being provided at no cost to the institutions, with funding from the Trust and the Department for Education (DfE). It will include a review of existing measures, building on the work of the EAUC – the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education. Expert consultancy for each institution will be provided, as will grants for practical student projects to reduce carbon, and a three-day residential workshop will be held for all participants in June 2022.

The Challenge, with its focus on creating a standardised framework for reporting emissions, dovetails with the ‘innovate, test and invest’ strategy set out in the DfE’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy. Case studies and best practice released through the challenge will be brought together via the DfE’s National Education Nature Park that is being designed to share best practice across the education system as a whole.

The Challenge will conclude at the end of 2022, and a report setting out a pathway for the sector to reach net zero will be presented to the Department for Education.

The Student Trial Fund

The Student Trial Fund has been established as part of the overall Platinum Jubilee Challenge to allow each participating institutions to champion excellence in student-led innovation and implement new, creative ideas to support the sectors ambition to reach net zero.

The Fund aims to inspire students to create and implement small scale trials which directly influence the reduction of carbon emissions and the promotion of sustainable behaviours at their institution. The trials must focus on the institution’s operations and student and staff body, but have the potential to be scaled to help reduce overall emissions for the tertiary education sector.

The projects will be shortlisted and approved by the 21 participating institutions at the three-day residential in June 2022. Up to five winning applications will be selected and prize funding will be awarded in amounts of £5,000, £10,000 or £15,000 by The Royal Anniversary Trust with support from the Department for Education (DfE). The winning student trials will be conducted between July and December 2022 and findings will feed into the final report presented to the DfE.

Further information can be found here.