Between January 2018 and February 2019 awareness of the SDGs significantly increased from 28% to 34%
So too did the desire to learn more about the SDGs, from 61% in January 2018 to 70% in February 2019, after respondents were introduced to the SDGs during the survey
The UK government was most commonly identified as needing to actively lead and support achievement of the SDGs
Goal 13, climate action, is seen as the most important goal, and climate change is reported as being the most important issue facing the world today
Inequality (in terms of income and discrimination) is the most important issue facing the UK today. Government accountability and transparency, a lack of healthcare services and a lack of economic opportunity and employement make up the top three most important issues across the 18 months of research
SDG1 - No poverty
When considering the most important issues facing the world today, respondents rated climate change as their top concern. Poverty, religious conflicts and large scale conflict/war make up the top three concerns.
Focusing on SDG goal 1 - no poverty - 86% say they are concerned about world poverty, and 69% are concerned about poverty in the UK.
Contributing financially to charities or other appeals is the most common way to personally support people living in poverty (49%) followed by buying Fairtrade products (46%).
SDG2 - Zero hunger
Respondents reported reducing the amount of food they waste (71%) and buying locally produced food (47%) as ways they personally support making sure food is produced in a sustainable way.
23% report skipping a meal in the last 12 months because they didn't have enough money to buy food, and 10% have gone without eating for the whole day because of a lack of money.
SDG3 - Good health and well-being
65% say their physical health to be good or very good, and 57% say the same about their mental health.
52% say they eat the recommended 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day.
8% find it difficult to go without smoking for a whole day.
SDG4 - Quality education
60% say they have personally faced financial barriers to accessing learning opportunities, and 34% say they have found a lack of information about opportunities to be a barrier.
Work placements or volunteering are reported by respondents (48%) as the best learning experiences during their time in education so far.
Respondents are less likely to prefer role play activities or simulations (15%).
SDG5 - Gender equality
95% agree that men and women should get equal pay for the same role.
91% agree that, in the world as a whole, more needs to be done to ensure men and women are equal.
28% say they know they have been discriminated against because of their gender and a further 13% think they have experienced this but cannot be sure if gender was the cause of the discrimination.
Of those who say they know they have experienced gender discrimination, 65% say they have felt unsafe in public places and 60% say they have experienced sexual harassment.
SDG6 - Clean water and sanitation
88% agree that we should all try to save water regardless of the weather, and 72% disagree that we don't have to worry about the amount of water we use.
However 30% say they don't pay much attention to the amount of water they use at home.
51% are not aware of the amount of water needed to make the products they buy, such as food, clothes and electronics
66% are supportive of a government that helped tackle access to clean water and sanitation around the world.
The most commonly reported personal behaviors that conserve water or prevent water pollution include turning the tap off whilst brushing their teeth (84%) and taking showers instead of baths (76%).
SDG7 - Affordable and clean energy
Student respondents report taking a range of actions to minimize their energy use, including 75% who always only wash clothes when they have a full load. Similarly, 73% say they rarely or never leave lights on when they are not in the room.
Thinking back to the winter of 2017-18, respondents reported limiting their energy use due to concerns about cost by turning down the heating (50%) or turning it off (47%) even though they would have preferred otherwise.
Support for renewable energy (for heating, electricity and fuel) is almost universal at 91%.
SDG8 - Decent work and economic growth
54% say they are concerned about finding a job after they finish their course, and 57% are concerned about finding a job that matches the skills and knowledge they have developed during their course.
73% are concerned about finding a job that pays a wage that meets the cost of living. Job security (65%), long term prospects (64%) and fair treatment (62%) are also key concerns amongst respondents.
87% and 75% agreeing respectively that companies should prioritize human well-being and social equity and environmental protection over profits.
SDG9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure
36% say the costs of travel influenced their decision on what university or college to study at.
10% say they have missed course commitments due to the reliability of transport services.
50% would like to see improvements to social learning / study spaces if facilities and infrastructure at their place of study were being improved
SDG10 - Reduced inequalities
59% think the economic situation globally is somewhat or very bad.
47% think the gap between rich and poor in the UK is a very big problem, and a further 35% say it is a moderately big problem.
39% indicated they think governments should take more responsibility to ensure everyone is provided for.
43% indicated they think we should aim for a more equal distribution of wealth, even if the total amount is reduced.
SDG11 - Sustainable cities and communities
33% think air quality in the area they live in during term time is a big problem.
83% think the government should be doing more to tackle air quality.
55% say they live less than 5 minutes walk away from a green space (e.g. parks, playing fields, community gardens, woods or other natural areas).
62% say they find it easy to get around on a day to day basis without a car.
SDG12 - Responsible consumption and production
67% say they'd like to be able to afford to buy more ethical and environmentally-friendly products but it's not a possibility for them at the moment
The biggest source of food waste from respondents is ingredients or products they open but don't finish (32% say they do this for at least some of they food they cook and eat
76% say it is important to them that their university or college makes sure the things it buys have been produced in way that limits damage to the environment
86% say it is important to them that their university or college makes sure the things it buys have been produced by people who have been fairly treated
SDG13 - Climate action
91% support increasing the use of renewable power to tackle climate change
82% support regulating heavy industry to reduce emissions also to tackle climate change
48% say they want to hear politicians discussing the loss of wildlife when thinking about the impacts of climate change
75% say they think their university or college should consider and address climate change in every aspect related to how it is run
74% say their institution should ensure all students have an opportunity to learn how they can be part of the solution to climate change
SDG14 - Life below water
81% think the seas and oceans around the world are in an unhealthy state
To help protect the seas and oceans, and the life within them, 67% say they refuse single-use plastic when possible
For the same reason, 44% say they use eco-friendly cleaning products
49% say secondary school was the time in their education so far that they've learnt about protecting seas and oceans
SDG15 - Life on land
23% regularly put out bird food in the last term to help wildlife and natural habitats, and 22% say they choose to buy from brands that state they minimise their impact on wildlife and habitats
88% are worried about the loss of species of animals and plants around the world
80% are worried about the loss of native animals and plants in the UK
62% say they want to do more to help protect animals, plants and birds around the UK but don't know how
86% think protecting nature is essential to tackling climate change
Primary (64%) and secondary (67%) education are seen as the time in their education so far where they've learnt about the role of wildlie and nature on land
SDG 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
39% say they think the present system of governing Britain needs a great deal of improvement, and a further 37% say it could be improved quite a lot
14% agree that decision-making in the UK responds to their needs, whereas 57% disagree
Almost half (46%) disagree when asked if they think decision-making in the UK is inclusive of people like them
Decision-making at their place of study is seen as more inclusive and responsive with around 60% agreeing that the processes have these characteristics
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the goals
78% of respondents would like to see the UK apply a law that means public bodies must consider the social, economic, environmental and cultural implications of their work on both current and future generations
65% see a role for all actors in society (government, business, NGOs, individuals) when it comes to responsibility for ensuring the SDGs are achieved
A third of respondents are unaware of the action taken by their place of study when it comes to working with other organisations to contribute to achieving the SDGs