Sustainability in higher education : aligning sustainable development goals (SDGS) with curriculum/campus/community

Zizka, Laura (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

Since the United Nations declared 2004-2015 as the Decade for Sustainable Education and introduced the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), the United States has passed the Higher Education Sustainability Act (HESA) and created the University for a Sustainable Future, an international initiative which focuses on sustainability literacy. Higher Education (HE) institutions have introduced sustainability concepts into the curriculum through stand-alone courses, embedding sustainability, or offering minors/degree programs/certificates on sustainability. These courses appear as part of the school strategy to better prepare change agents who care about the world and their impact on it. While the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) should be addressed, previous literature has shown that many HE institutions predominantly highlight their community engagement projects on their websites as ‘proof’ that they embrace sustainability, and most students are only able to cite environmental actions as examples of sustainability initiatives. Researchers have examined how and when sustainability is implemented on and off campus, but scant research has studied what sustainability concepts are being taught. There is little evidence that the sustainability concepts being taught are directly linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forth by the UN. The purpose of this study is not to develop a one-size-fits-all framework for all HE institutions to follow; rather, the purpose is to assist all HE institutions regardless of level or domain to develop a more effective framework for aligning SDGs with their specific programs and strategy based on their resources and relevance to the overall program objectives. To examine the link between sustainability literacy and the effectiveness of HE courses that teach sustainability concepts, the methodology is two-fold: Firstly, through the use of the Sustainability Literacy test (SULITEST), the existing knowledge of first semester students in one international hospitality management program in Switzerland was gauged to establish how much students know about specific sustainability topics and SDGs prior to entering their HE program. Secondly, the gaps that were identified in student knowledge will be used to create a framework to align specific SDGs to the curriculum to ensure that their education mirrors the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The best practices for linking SDGs to education from Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific regions will guide the creation of a framework that can be adjusted to each HE institutions’ needs. To prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders, HE institutions must find more effective means of teaching sustainability principles and concepts that resonate with students and create authentic engagement with sustainability practices which will be continued upon graduation.


Keywords:
Conference Type:
full paper
Faculty:
Economie et Services
School:
EHL
Institute:
Aucun institut
Subject(s):
Economie/gestion
Publisher:
Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1-3 July 2019
Date:
2019-07
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
1-3 July 2019
Pagination:
Pp. 2116-2123
Published in:
Proceedings of the 11th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN19)
DOI:
ISSN:
2340-1117
ISBN:
978-84-09-12031-4
Appears in Collection:

Note: The status of this file is: restricted


 Record created 2019-11-08, last modified 2019-11-28

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