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Other sustainable projects

Education for a sustainable future in Gambia

The University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer is expanding its initiatives in sustainability and social responsibility on an international level. Since 2019, the university has been active in a project in Gambia (West Africa).

Gambia is ranked by the UN as one of the 20 poorest countries in the world. The proportion of children and young people under 14 years of age is 45%. Unemployment, especially youth unemployment, is high, which means that many young men make the long and dangerous trip to reach Europe.  For a while, Gambia provided the third largest contingent of refugees to Germany from Africa.

The project: The university, together with two support associations and in cooperation with  Cirksena Grundschule (primary school) in Emden, the university wants to help young people in Gambia to build a future worth living for themselves. The aim is to support education from primary school (the Sukuta Lower Basic School), Sukuta Upper Basic School and the Sukuta Senior Secondary School (SUSSS), to further technical education.

Our contribution: The University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer would like to help with teams of students and with partners to provide the schools with computers and PV systems. The local electricity supply is unreliable and too expensive for the schools. 
The project is offered as part of the student projects, but can also be used for the sustainability certificate that accompanies the course. Interested students can contact the sustainability office (Anna Gerritzen ) or Prof. Schlaak.
In the first phase of the project, a group of students developed the concept for a PV system at the SULB. A team from this group flew to Sukuta at Easter in 2019 to explore the possibilities for realisation on the ground.
The investments on the ground must be handled by development associations, which also raise the corresponding funds.

Lecture series "Shaping our future"

In order to shape our future in such a way that future generations
have an earth worth living on, we need to transform the human way of life. Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are clear signs that we need to change our behavior. But how?

In the summer semester of 2023, Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences organized an interdisciplinary lecture series on education for sustainable development for the first time as part of its 50th anniversary.

The lecture series put some aspects of the necessary change up for discussion, such as

  • The problems of our future
  • Requirements for a sustainable future, global responsibility
  • the energy concept of the future
  • the economy of the future
  • the transportation of the future
  • human behavior (psychology, consumer behavior, philosophy)
  • a sustainable way of life

Recordings & materials from past events are uploaded to Moodle.

Sustainability development (2021-2023)

What do our students expect from the university in the field of sustainability and social responsibility? Successful workshop - sustainability development at Emden/Leer University of Applied Sciences!


Ship recycling (2021)

In summer semester 2021, a project team from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer looked at the prospects and problems of ship recycling in Germany, in particular why it is hardly ever done in Germany and what conditions would be necessary for ship recycling to be a more attractive and profitable business model in Germany.

Germany is a country which is poor in raw materials. For this reason, goals must be pursued to keep raw materials in the country through recycling. An example of this is the raw material steel, which accounts for the largest share in the construction of a ship. At present, up to 80 percent of the world's ships for recycling are scrapped in South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, and China. In most cases, the vessels are driven onto the beach at full speed (beaching) in order to dismantle them on the ground. However, this method is viewed critically as occupational safety regulations, environmental regulations and wages in these countries cannot be compared with those in Europe.

e-mobility: The future of mobility in Emden (2020)

A team of students from the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer has analysed the concepts for a sustainable design of their transport systems in a number of cities and selected the approaches that could be suitable for a small town like Emden.

E-mobility is not the only component, but it is an important one, provided that by this point, the electricity is essentially produced from renewable sources. As a “regenerative city”, Emden is predestined to promote e-mobility in the city thanks to the prominence of local wind energy.

The classic carbon neutral modes of transport, such as cycling or walking, were also taken into account. The requirement for this is the suitable infrastructure (cycle paths, charging points), the conversion of local public transport with electric buses and a more comprehensive network of bus connections to make it unnecessary to drive your own car into the city centre.

e-tourism on the waterways of East Frisia – A feasibility study (2019)

A student project investigated what environmentally friendly boat tourism on the canals of East Frisia could look like: with various boats powered by electricity.

The necessary infrastructure on the canals and a suitable type of boat were designed. Instead of buying the boats (e.g. In Holland), the boats should be built in Emden to support the local economy. The project was coordinated with a similar concept of the rowing club, which aims at water tourism “with vigour”. Farms bordering canals could benefit from boating tourism through suitable offers.

Waste analysis (2017/2018)

In a student project, the waste on campus was analysed according to type, quantity and cost of disposal. The general waste was tipped out and sorted according to how much of it could still be returned to the material cycle if the appropriate waste containers for material separation were introduced, i.e. in the corridors or lecture halls, for example.

Procedure from other universities were collected and a concept for Emden/Leer was developed and presented to the university management. Financially, the implementation would lead to a saving of approx. € 10,000/year!