Image by Peter Cordes

The University of Edinburgh

As students from the University of Edinburgh, a lot of our work is dedicated towards creating or improving existing initiatives around campus. Below are a few ideas that can help Edinburgh become a global leader in sustainable, inclusive and progressive education.

Improving Supply Chains: An Opportunity for Growth at the University of Edinburgh

As part of Buchanan's Summer Research Programme, a team dives into the University’s sustainability plans, how it manages its supply chains and how it works with the local community as an anchor institution. The brief lays out the current policies in place by the SRS department and how the University was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The University of Edinburgh's Response to Asian Hate on Campus

The Covid-19 pandemic has reinvigorated existing sinophobic sentiments worldwide and
led to an alarming spike in violent hate crimes towards those of East and South-East Asian
(E/SEA) descent. This paper
therefore recommends more intensive training for all staff members alike, particularly
Personal Tutors; mandatory talks regarding our zero tolerance towards racial abuse and
discrimination during Welcome Week for Freshers; more visibility online and on campus for resources and support; and a stronger centralised policy system that is made aware by students
alike.

SustainLABility: Strategies for Reducing Plastic in our University's Laboratories

The University of Edinburgh's scientific research labs are often overlooked in the reduction of plastic waste on campus; this policy brief evaluates three strategies for improvement, advocating a take-back approach for plastic packaging.

A Review of the University Counselling Services

In response to negative public discourse surrounding mental health services at university, The Buchanan Institute put forward a proposal, detailing the University of Edinburgh’s Student Counselling Service's current procedures and identifying areas for further improvement.

Towards a Better Student Democracy

There is currently a lack of engagement with the student motion system (SMS) at the
University of Edinburgh, both in terms of proposing motions and voting on them. We suggest that
through increasing student participation our proposals will improve the democratic legitimacy of the SMS and mean the SMS is better suited to achieving policy outcomes that benefit the
student population at large.

Improving Edinburgh's Bike Hire Scheme for Students

How can Edinburgh improve its bike hire scheme to provide more accessible low-carbon transport for students? This policy paper outlines four new pricing options to increase the accessibility of the Edinburgh's "Just Eat Cycle" hire scheme to student cyclists.

Improving University Education in Light of Covid-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending the world of higher education, how can university students remain engaged with their learning? This report examines the impact of COVID-19 on undergraduate students in Scotland, with a particular focus on academic education and communication. Looking forward, it also details recommendations to support universities with mitigating the consequences of the pandemic for students.

Edinburgh University Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy Review

The team reviewed the University’s existing policies around social responsibility and sustainability. The review included a comparative study of other British and American universities' and companies' policies. The team highlighted the gaps within Edinburgh University’s policies and the potential for improvement.
In the following semester, the research team was awarded by the Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability for their work at the SRS Sustainability Awards.