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Sustainable Development Goals and sustainability teaching at universities: Falling behind or getting ahead of the pack?

Filho, W.L., Shiel, C., Paco, A., Mifsud, M., Avila, L.V., Brandli, L.L., Molthan-Hill, P., Pace, P., Azeitero, U.M., Vargas, V.R. and Caeiro, S., 2019. Sustainable Development Goals and sustainability teaching at universities: Falling behind or getting ahead of the pack? Journal of Cleaner Production, 232, 285-294.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.05.309


The fact that the world community is engaged in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) means that an unrivalled opportunity is provided to universities, both in respect of teaching and in research, on individual SDGs, as well as in pursuing their “third mission” linking up with external stakeholders and society. However, not many universities have realised that and many are falling behind. This paper explores the many advantages of the introduction of the SDGs into teaching and suggests that it can catalyse the engagement of students in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) with the concepts of sustainability. The paper fills in a research gap by surveying the current state of the art regarding the theme, presenting current data outlining the extent to which HEI are using SDGs to support their sustainability work. The reasons why some institutions are currently not engaging is also shown. The paper, which consists of a worldwide survey deployed to collect data on the SDGs and sustainability teaching at universities, concludes by providing some recommendations aimed at encouraging further engagement of HEI in incorporatingSDGs as part of their teaching programs. This research is unique in the sense that it provides for the first time offers an overview of the level of emphasis selected universities currently place on the SDGs. Finally, it provides a contribution to current state of knowledge by outlining some actions universities may take, to move forward with their implementation.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:sustainability; higher education; sustainable development goals; teaching; engagement
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:32413
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:24 Jun 2019 15:05
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:16


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