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An overview of research trends on sustainability in higher education – an exploratory study.

Leal Filho, W., Frankenberger Silva, F., Salvia, A., Shiel, C., Paço, A., Price, E., Brandli, L. L., Rampasso, I. S., Anholon, R., Quelhas, O. L. G. and Pretorius, R. W., 2023. An overview of research trends on sustainability in higher education – an exploratory study. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 24 (5), 1161-1175.

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23.11.2022-ResearchTrends_PROOF.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1108/IJSHE-08-2022-0252


Purpose: This study aims to investigate the main areas in which researchers are focusing their efforts in terms of sustainability in higher education (curriculum, campus greening, research, governance or outreach), the format in which this research is performed (in terms of individual or combined efforts) and the primary research focus (in terms of local or global issues). Design/methodology/approach: Trends on sustainability research were investigated by means of an online survey – the World Survey on Sustainability Publishing and Research in Higher Education, which was disseminated among members of the European School of Sustainability Science and Research and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme. Findings: The survey collected responses from 103 researchers across over 40 countries. Three trends emerged: in spite of the intrinsic value of sustainability research in higher education, this area is not as mature as one could expect; the range of themes covered is wide and addresses a variety of areas; and individuals working alone is the most common means of doing research, whereas research at the university, department and faculty level appears to be less common. Originality/value: The paper outlines some measures via which higher education institutions may be able to take more advantage of the many opportunities sustainability research offers to them.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact'
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sustainability in higher education; International study; Opportunities for sustainability; Research on higher education; Sustainability research
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:38772
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:10 Jul 2023 15:29
Last Modified:10 Jul 2023 15:29


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