Thomas Hull and Maria Kirrane: Award-winning Sustainability Practice from France and Ireland

Thomas Hull and Maria Kirrane: Award-winning Sustainability Practice from France and Ireland Podcast

Sustainability continues to be a topic that is top of mind within the international higher education field. Earlier this year, the winners of the International Green Gown Awards were announced, an initiative that recognizes exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by higher education institutions across the world. In the category ‘Sustainability Institution of the Year’, there were two European winners: University College Cork (Ireland) won the award, while UniLaSalle (France) received the ‘highly commended’ honour. Two institutions with inspiring and practical examples of how international education can tackle climate action.

EAIE podcast host Laura Rumbley talked to Maria Kirrane, Head of Sustainability and Climate Action at University College Cork, and Thomas Hull, the Head of International Relations for the Rennes (France) campus of Institut Polytechnique UniLaSalle. What exactly are the profiles of these universities, and what are their environmental action highlights? How does each institution look at environmental sustainability in the context of international student and staff mobility, and are there particular synergies between their climate action aspirations and internationalisation agendas? And what are some of the key challenges and opportunities ahead for their HEIs and others to advance the work of environmental sustainability?

About Thomas Hull

Thomas Hull is the Head of International Relations for the Rennes (France) Campus of an Engineering school called Institut Polytechnique UniLaSalle. Thomas holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Concordia College, Minnesota, where he did a double major in Business Administration and French, and a Master’s Degree in Business from the Institut de Gestion de Rennes, France. Before arriving at UniLaSalle in 2009, Thomas was the director of an American cultural centre in Rennes.

About Maria Kirrane

Dr. Maria Kirrane is the Head of Sustainability and Climate Action for University College Cork. In this role, she oversees the delivery of the University’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, working with students and staff across campus to embed sustainability into teaching, research operations and engagement activities. Maria holds a BSc. in Environmental Science and a PhD in Zoology, both from UCC. She undertook her postdoctoral research at the University of Limerick on the role of higher education in the transition to a sustainable society.

Additional Resources

For further insights into the topics touched on in this episode, the following resources may be of interest:

→ UniLaSalle Uni4Change website

→ University College Cork website

→ Sulitest website

→ Glasgow to Rotterdam by bike: a green conference travelogue

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The EAIE podcast brings you voices, perspectives, ideas and insights into the world of international education. Host Laura Rumbley chats with special guests about the issues that matter most for your day-to-day work internationalising higher education.