The University’s Director of Sustainability, Professor Daniella Tilbury, was elected as President of the Copernicus Alliance at the 2011 Annual General Meeting which took place at Kerkrade on the 27th November. The Copernicus Alliance brings together 326 universities from across Europe who are committed to re-orienting universities so that they can make a meaningful contribution to sustainability. These Universities have signed the Copernicus Charta which identifies ten change pathways for sustainability in higher education: institutional strategic frameworks, sustainability values and ethics, education of university employees, education for sustainability for students and communities of practice, interdisciplinary problem-solving and networking, technology transfer and partnership building for sustainability.
Daniella responded to the news of her electcion: ‘I was surprised but also delighted by the results of the election. The year 2012 is a significant one for this agenda as global leaders meet in Rio in June to assess global progress towards sustainability and to recommit to alleviating poverty, reducing environmental degradation and improving quality of life for people across the globe. Higher Education has an important role to play in addressing these responsibilities. 2012 is also an important year for the University of Gloucestershire as it embraces a new strategic direction; sustainability continues to be an important strand of its work. The Copernicus Alliance can support the University’s ambitions in this through improving its sustainability profile, extending partnerships and funding opportunities.
Gerd Michelson, the retiring President welcomed the news of the new appointment: ‘The Copernicus Alliance brings together a group of committed Universities which seek to make a difference to this world. We are delighted that Daniella has taken on this role. She is a leading figure internationally who has been formally recognized for her vision, commitment and strategic approaches to advancing sustainability in this sector. Her international experience as Chair of the UN Expert Group in Education for Sustainability and member of the UN Economic Council for Europe will serve her well in her new role.’
Daniella was unable to attend the Kerkrade meeting due to University commitments and was elected in her absence. She will commence her two year Presidency in mid_January when the Secretariat and funding associated with Copernicus Alliance is transferred across to the University of Gloucestershire.