About the Ethical Grand Challenges

Staff are asked to encourage their students to take part in the Ethical Grand Challenges (EGC) programme.

EGC is the University’s Social Responsibility Signature Programme for undergraduates and gives them the opportunity to explore 3 challenges facing the world in the 21st century: sustainability (Y1); social justice (Y2); workplace ethics (Y3).

 The aim of the programme is to help students to become informed, thoughtful, critical and socially responsible, so they can graduate as citizens and leaders, who are aware of and are capable of exercising ethical, social and environmental responsibilities.

 The programme also boosts employability by enabling students to work with others across disciplinary boundaries, develop skills such as teamwork and problem-solving, and confront issues they are likely to face in their early graduate careers.

 Ethical Grand Challenges is part of Stellify. Completion of all 3 challenges contributes to the Stellify Award, but each challenge is worth doing in its own right and will be recorded on students’ official transcripts. 

The Sustainability Challenge takes place on Tuesday of Welcome Week.

Sustainability Challenge

The Sustainability Challenge is the Ethical Grand Challenge for first year undergraduates. The Challenge is a core element of the University of Manchester’s Welcome, and all 8,000+ first year undergraduate students are invited to take part in the Challenge on Tuesday of Welcome Week.

The Sustainability Challenge is a 2.5 hour simulation activity based on building a new campus for the fictitious University of Millchester. Students, in interdisciplinary groups, work against the clock to develop plans for a new campus, while global responses to climate change trigger a series of ‘game changing’ interventions. As well as introducing students to the challenge of sustainability, the event introduces students to the kind of university Manchester is: committed to making a difference and working across disciplines to solve problems. 

"It's a great chance to meet new people ... people that you're not going to be studying with ... make new friends and learn something new" - Student

Professor James Thompson, Vice President for Social Responsibility at The University of Manchester, talks about the Sustainability Challenge and how it contributes to the University's Goal 3: Social Responsibility.

The Sustainability Challenge is part of the University’s flagship social responsibility initiative - the Ethical Grand Challenges Programme and is also the first step towards achieving the Stellify Award

The Sustainability Challenge must be completed during Y1.  Catch Up sessions run throughout the year for students who were unable to attend in Welcome Week. Students who don’t complete the Sustainability Challenge in their first year will not be able to achieve the Stellify Award.

Please encourage any of your students who missed the Challenge in Welcome Week to attend one of the Catch-Up Sessions.

Hear more about the Sustainability Challenge from Professor Ian Cotton, Academic Lead for Sustainability.

Find Out More

If you have any questions about the Sustainability Challenge, please email:  egc@manchester.ac.uk

The Social Justice Challenge is open to all current 2nd year undergraduate students until 14 June 2019.

Social Justice Challenge

The Social Justice Challenge is the Ethical Grand Challenge for 2nd year students. The Challenge includes input from over 20 academic colleagues drawn from all faculties and enables students to consider issues of social justice from multidisciplinary perspectives and to explore what it might mean to build fairer communities in Manchester, the UK, and across the globe.

The Challenge is delivered online via Blackboard and comprises an Introduction to Social Justice and 6 themed sections. To complete the Challenge students must complete the Introduction and 2 themed sections of their choice, but they can do them all if they wish. The Social Justice Challenge is part of Stellify and completion of the Challenge contributes towards the Stellify Award

"I really enjoyed doing this challenge as it was extremely interesting and gave me the opportunity to think and reflect on some of the problems the world is facing" - Student

Content of Social Justice Challenge

Introduction

The Introduction to Social Justice introduces students to the concept of social justice, what it involves, and why it matters.

Higher Education

The Higher Education section examines topics such as access and funding, and asks, ‘Who should go to university? Who benefits from university?  Who should pay for it?’

Mental Health

The Mental Health section looks at inequalities in mental health and explores how and why mental health problems affect different communities differently.

Trade

The Trade section discusses what trade is, how it works, and why there are winners and losers in the current system of trade.

Energy

The Energy section focuses on energy poverty and energy justice, and proposes a framework for evaluating technological solutions to problems of energy access from the point of view of social justice.

Homelessness

The Homelessness section looks at reasons why people become homeless, what that’s got to do with social justice, and how the issue of homelessness can be addressed in ways that are socially just.

Migration

The Migration section examines how contemporary discourses, and policies, around migration intersect with social justice, and asks questions like, 'Why are some migrants more welcome than others?’

Interactive Content

 

Each theme is explored using a mix of film and short ‘interactives’, and includes input from academics and representatives from the Students’ Union and third sector organisations. 

Two examples of interactive content,  taken from the Higher Education and Trade sections, are given below.

"I liked the fact that it let me choose 2/4 topics which were very diverse so I could pick something which suited my personal interests" - Student

How to access the Social Justice Challenge in Blackboard

 

All 2nd year undergraduates have been given access to the Challenge.  To find it they need to:

- Go to https://online.manchester.ac.uk
- Scroll down to My Communities
- Click on EGC: Social Justice Challenge
- Follow instructions on the Homepage

If a 2nd year student cannot see the course listed they should email egc@manchester.ac.uk using the subject line Social Justice Challenge access.

The Social Justice Challenge takes under an hour to complete. Students can do the Challenge in one go or can work through it at their own pace in a number of bite-sized chunks.  To verify completion of each section, students must take a short multiple choice test. The Social Justice Challenge will be available to current 2nd year students until 14th June 2019.

Download Social Justice Challenge Staff Guide

Download Social Justice Challenge Slide

Social Justice Challenge FAQs

Q. Why is the university offering the Social Justice Challenge?

A. The University of Manchester is keen to offer a distinctive undergraduate experience and to help our graduates stand out in a very competitive graduate recruitment market. EGC supports this ambition by enabling students to consider issues of social justice from multidisciplinary perspectives and to explore what it might mean to build fairer communities in the city, the UK and across the globe. 

Q. Who developed the Social Justice Challenge?

A. The Social Justice Challenge has been developed by academics from all Faculties, the University of Manchester Students’ Union and external contributors from not- for- profit organisations, working with the Student Development & Community Engagement Division (Directorate for Student Experience).

Q. What will students gain from completing the Social Justice Challenge?

A. By completing the social justice challenge students will:

- develop knowledge and understanding of challenges facing society in the 21st century
- enhance their employability skills
- explore issues of social justice and be inspired to take action
- contextualise their degree, placing it in the wider national and global context
- engage their critical thinking skills. 

Q. How long does it take to do the Challenge?

A. The Social Justice Challenge takes just under an hour to complete. Students can do the Social Justice Challenge in one go or can work through it at their own pace in a number of bite-sized chunks.  To complete the Social Justice Challenge, students must work through the introduction and two themes of their choice. To verify completion of each section, students must take a short multiple choice test. The Social Justice Challenge will be available for 2nd years until mid June.

Q. How do students access the Social Justice Challenge?

A. Students can access the Social Justice Challenge via Blackboard. To access, they will need to scroll down to the My Communities section below their current list of courses in Blackboard and click on EGC: Social Justice Challenge. If a 2nd year student cannot see the course listed they should email egc@manchester.ac.uk using the subject line Social Justice Challenge access.

Q. Is the Social Justice Challenge part of Stellify and the Stellify Award?

A. Yes. Ethical Grand Challenges are an element of Stellify and completion of all 3 Challenges is part of the requirement for the Stellify Award. The Stellify Award is a prestigious extra-curricular award for undergraduates who started their degree in or after the 2016/17 academic year. 

Q. Does it matter if a student didn’t complete the Sustainability Challenge?

A. Students who did not complete the Sustainability Challenge in their 1st year should still be encouraged to complete the Social Justice Challenge in their 2nd year.  Although they will not be able to achieve the Manchester Leadership Award there are many benefits to completing the Social Justice Challenge in its own right. These include the development of employability skills and gaining an insight into challenges facing the world in the 21st century. Completion of the Social Justice Challenge will also appear on students’ official University transcripts. 

Q. How can staff help students to engage with the Social Justice Challenge?

A.

- promote the benefits of completing the Social Justice Challenge to all of your 2nd year students
- make links to the content of the Social Justice Challenge if the subject matter is relevant to any of your teaching
- make your students aware of opportunities through Stellify and the Manchester Leadership Award
- encourage students to visit the EGC website to find out more about all of the Ethical Grand Challenges manchester.ac.uk/EGC
- once students have completed the Social Justice Challenge, encourage them to think about how it can add value to their degree and employability.

Q. How can staff find out more about the Social Justice Challenge?

A. If you have any questions or suggestions about the Social Justice Challenge, or would like to be given access to the staff version of the Challenge, please email egc@manchester.ac.uk.

The Workplace Ethics Challenge is currently still in the pilot phase and will be fully available to final year students in 2018/2019.

Workplace Ethics Challenge

The Workplace Ethics Challenge is the Ethical Grand Challenge (EGC) for Year 3-Final Year undergraduate students. To complete the Challenge students will need to take part in one 2.5 hour Workplace Ethics workshop, or complete an equivalent online learning activity. The Workplace Ethics Challenge workshops and online activity are relevant to a diverse range of occupational areas popular with undergraduate students.

All activities will have real-world practical ethical dilemmas at their core that will provide students with the opportunity to:

  • Explore what responsible behaviour in the workplace might look like
  • Practise meaningful experiences of interdisciplinary/multi-sector working and problem-solving
  • Incorporate diverse perspectives
  • Explore content relevant to, but not repeating, undergraduate curricula
  • Engage with current, research-led, & recognisably real-world topics
  • Take part in problem centred learning
  • Learn about key rights/legislation

 

The Workplace Ethics Challenge – Children & Young people is one of the Challenge Options and is targeted at students interested in careers where they will have a responsibility for safeguarding

Workplace Ethics Challenge FAQs

Why is the University offering the Workplace Ethics Challenge?

The University is keen to offer a distinctive undergraduate experience, to help our graduates stand out in a competitive graduate recruitment market, and to develop ethically aware graduates. The Workplace Ethics Challenge supports this ambition, by enabling students to consider issues of ethical practice in the workplace and introducing them to concepts and methods that are valued by employers. 

Who developed the Workplace Ethics Challenge?

The Workplace Ethics Challenges have been developed by academics from all Faculties, in consultation with graduate employers, working with the Student Development & Community Engagement Division (DSE).

What will students gain from completing the Workplace Ethics Challenge?

By completing the Workplace Ethics Challenge students will: 

 

  • Reflect on ethical responsibilities and decision making in diverse workplaces
  • Learn about key rights and legislation concerning the workplace
  • Enhance their employability
  • Gain experience in interdisciplinary working and problem solving

 

It also counts towards the Stellify Award.

How do students sign up for a Workplace Ethics Challenge?

Each Challenge workshop option will be offered at least once each semester. The online Challenge will be available in Blackboard from the start of the academic year until early June. 

Students can sign up for a Workplace Ethics Challenge via the EGC website, where details of all the Challenge options and workshop dates can be found.

What form do the Workplace Ethics Challenges take?

Each Challenge workshop is led by experts in relevant fields and takes 2.5 hours to complete.  Students work in interdisciplinary groups to evaluate ethically challenging scenarios.

Students can complete the online Workplace Ethics Challenge in Blackboard. It takes 1 hour to complete.  To verify the completion of each section, students must take a short multiple choice test. 

Can students sign up for more than one Workplace Ethics Challenge option?

Students can sign up for one Challenge workshop and can also complete the online WPE Challenge if they wish. If students want to complete an additional workshop they can request to be added to the waiting list. However, priority will be given to students who have not yet completed a Challenge workshop. 

Does the Workplace Ethics Challenge count towards the Stellify Award?

Yes.  Ethical Grand Challenges are an element of Stellify and completion of all 3 Challenges is a requirement for the Stellify Award. To complete the WPE Challenge students only need to complete one Challenge option.  

Does it matter if a student didn’t complete the Year 1 & 2 Ethical Grand Challenges?

Students who did not complete the Sustainability Challenge in their 1st year and Social Justice Challenge in their 2nd year should still be encouraged to complete the workplace Ethics Challenge.  There are many benefits to completing the Workplace Ethics Challenge in its own right. These include the development of employability skills and gaining an understanding of how they can contribute to creating inclusive and supportive workplaces.

Completion of the Workplace Ethics Challenge will also appear on students’ official University transcripts.

What do students think of the Workplace Ethics Challenge?

Feedback from students that have completed a Workplace Ethic Challenge is very positive.

“Discussed topics that are relevant even though sensitive, it makes me think more deeply about my role as an individual in wider society.”

"Challenging scenarios, intellectually stimulating environment, chance to communicate and engage." 

“I liked the use of scenarios as it really made me think what would I do in this situation?”

How can staff help students engage with the Workplace Ethics Challenge?

Staff can help by:

 

  • Promoting the benefits of completing the Workplace Ethics Challenge to all of your Year 3-Final Year students
  • Making links to the content of the Workplace Ethics Challenge if the subject matter is relevant to any of your teaching
  • Making your students aware of opportunities through Stellify and the Stellify Award
  • Once students have completed the Workplace Ethics Challenge, encourage them to think about how it can add value to their degree and employability

 

Any questions?

If you have any questions or suggestions about the Workplace Ethics Challenge or would like to be given access to the staff version of the online Challenge, please email:

 egc@manchester.ac.uk