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UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Inspires New Courses in Sustainability at Lucy Cavendish College

Students walking on campus at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, UK

Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge, UK

Lucy Cavendish College

Empowering students to find solutions to 21st century challenges in renewable energies, sustainable food and water supplies and global healthcare

CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM, August 17, 2022 / -- In response to the recent call to action of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Lucy Cavendish College, the fastest growing of the University of Cambridge’s 31 constituent colleges, will admit a cohort of students in Fall 2023 to take the new undergraduate course in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The course will equip its graduates to become innovators and future leaders in renewable energies, sustainable food and water supplies, and global healthcare.

Additionally, for the first time in 2024, Lucy Cavendish College will be offering students from across the globe a new, four-year, interdisciplinary undergraduate Design program focused on sustainable living. The new program combines elements of engineering, architecture and materials sciences and will address challenges presenting in the economy, society and the natural world.

“This spring, the IPCC called for a revolution in how we produce energy and power our world if we are to avoid dangerous, and hugely expensive, global warming,” explained Lucy Cavendish College President, Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins. “That report sets out five actions, from developing technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to incentivizing behavioral change in how we live to curb energy demand, all of which require research and development in colleges and universities.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for future peace and prosperity for all people and the planet. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries.

At the graduate level, Lucy Cavendish College prioritizes academic membership for those who have chosen Masters or Doctoral programs or who are undertaking postdoctoral research that directly addresses these UN SDGs.

"Tomorrow’s institutions of higher education will be judged not on their sporting laurels or the size of their endowments, but on how well they mobilize to address the priorities of the coming generation of students, and succeed in finding solutions which benefit our common humanity and our planet,” said President Atkins. “These outcomes are not easy to achieve. They require commitment to social inclusivity and sheer hard work from everyone in the institution. But those colleges and universities that do focus on these outcomes will be the most effective in nurturing the global leaders of the 21st century."

How Lucy Cavendish College's Approach is Different
The College has more than 55 years’ experience of attracting, supporting and educating exceptional students from under-served communities who exhibit leadership traits, determination and an enterprising mindset.

“The 21st Century issues captured in the UN SDGs have no regard for national or economic boundaries,” emphasized President Atkins. “Our approach at Lucy Cavendish College brings together students from more than 70 countries with different but valid perspectives in a supportive, immersive environment. It gives those who may not otherwise have had an opportunity to go to college the chance to engage, at a world-leading level, with the complex and pertinent issues facing our societies. The new courses offer opportunities for them to explore, to seek – and to find -- effective, long-term solutions.”

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About Lucy Cavendish College
Lucy Cavendish College is one of the 31 constituent colleges within the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The College’s mission is to unlock the potential of exceptional students from non-traditional and underrepresented backgrounds who are driven by a desire to make a difference and who are committed to having a positive and lasting impact on society. Founded in 1965, the College is named in honor of Lucy Cavendish, a leading 19th century activist for the reform of women's education. Originally an institution that transformed the life chances of mature women, the College decided to open those opportunities to students of all ages in 2020 and all genders in 2021. The College is truly a dynamic, inclusive and supportive global community with international students from 70 countries making up a significant proportion of the student population.

About Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins
Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins, became the ninth President of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge, on October 1, 2018. Her background includes reading Law and History as an undergraduate at Cambridge University, teaching history in a large high school in Huntingdon, and completing a Ph.D. and post-doctoral research contracts at the University of Nottingham. Following various senior positions at Newcastle University she was Vice-Chancellor (President) of Coventry University from 2004 to 2013. President Atkins then joined the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as its Chief Executive in January 2014, retaining that post until March 2018.

Maryellen Nugent
Harbor Partners
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