Alumna of the month – March 2016
MSc Education for Sustainability, 2007
“I first became worried about human effects on the planet when I was 8 years old and read about animal extinctions.”
Shan went into teaching to help children understand their environment and what they could do about it. She progressed onto roles in Local Education Authorities and then moved to Uganda with her husband who was working with a University in Kampala. Whilst living abroad, Shan collaborated with the Forum of Education NGOs, ActionAid Uganda and the Department for International Development.
Living in Uganda exposed her to the limits of the UK education system, so she co-founded Voice International which challenges the western model of education. Shan decided to enrol on the MSc Education for Sustainability to triangulate her conclusions with those of her peers: “The course validated my experience in East Africa, where there was no refuse collection and intermittent power and water supplies.”
Moving into politics allowed Shan to address wider sustainability issues more directly: “I have been a European, parliamentary and local candidate for the Green Party. I do a lot of campaigning, petitioning and speaking in schools with a focus on the big issues like climate change, globalisation and resource depletion.”
As an active campaigner, Shan recommends that students follow their heart and put their efforts into their passions: “Money is useful, but only in moderation. If we all decided to work towards a better world, we would get there.”
Developed in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Oxfam and the EU, the MSc Education for Sustainability draws on the expertise of environmental and development NGOs as well as academic and educational communities. It provides personal and professional development for anyone involved in communicating sustainability, whatever the context.