Social Responsibility

Ethical grand challenges

We want to equip our graduates to address some of the profound ethical challenges of the 21st Century.

Tomorrow’s leaders and citizens will inherit a world facing some of the greatest challenges to our human race. Our Ethical Grand Challenges programme enables all our undergraduate students to address some of the most profound ethical challenges of the 21st century. Embedded as a core part of our ‘Stellify’ student pathway, leading to the Stellify Award, the programme provides every Manchester undergraduate with the opportunity to confront key challenges concerning sustainability, social justice and workplace ethics.

For the past three years the Sustainability Challenge has been offered to all 8,000 first-year undergraduates. Working in interdisciplinary groups, students consider the challenges arising from a new major construction project – a new campus site for the hypothetical ‘University of Millchester’. They tackled the complex mix of environmental, social and economic dilemmas in a realistic scenario.

2nd year students take part in the Social Justice, Ethical Grand Challenge. The Challenge is an online programme which introduces students to ways of thinking about social justice, and invites them to explore six themes: Migration, Homelessness, Higher Education, Mental Health, Trade and Energy from a social justice perspective. Students have the full academic year to complete this challenge.

The third stage of the programme focuses on Workplace Ethics and is intended for final-year students. It involves a range of interactive workshops and training scenarios that encourage students to consider ethical dilemmas in real-life work situations.

Impact of the Ethical Grand Challenges programme

  • Over 5,000 students attending the Sustainability Challenge ieach September.
  • 3,000 students have taken part in pilots to shape the programme
  • 92% of students in pilots said they are more aware of the complexity of sustainability
  • 97% of students in pilots said they increased their awareness of justice in the workplace through our Workplace Ethics Challenge.

Find out more about how you can get involved in our Ethical Grand Challenges website.

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