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Sustainability 2013, 5(9), 3690-3701; doi:10.3390/su5093690

A Preliminary Model for Assessing University Sustainability from the Student Perspective

1
Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå 97187, Sweden
2
Department of Humanities and Social sciences, Karlstad University, Karlstad 65188, Sweden
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 July 2013 / Revised: 22 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 August 2013 / Published: 28 August 2013
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Abstract

This paper assesses university sustainability from the perspective of the interested student. A set of questions for a university website analysis is proposed and preliminary results for Swedish universities are presented. The university website analysis intends to emulate a student looking for a university working with sustainable development. University ranking is compared with the results from the sustainability assessment. Results from the study are based on university website analysis of 18 Swedish universities out of a total of 30. Universities are grouped in high ranked, low ranked and benchmark universities. For the majority of the studied universities it was possible to extract the information needed for a sustainability assessment from the website, which indicates that further development of the method is of interest. The average level of performance in the assessment was found to be less than 50% of the maximum of the proposed scale. With Sweden generally being a leading nation in sustainable development the results are below of what could be expected. Ranking, based on the Swedish ranking system does not seem to predict university sustainability performance. The indication is that Gothenburg University, while having further improvement potential, could be considered a benchmark in the Swedish context. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability assessment; university sustainability; sustainable development; website analysis; student focus; university ranking; Sweden sustainability assessment; university sustainability; sustainable development; website analysis; student focus; university ranking; Sweden
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Isaksson, R.; Johnson, M. A Preliminary Model for Assessing University Sustainability from the Student Perspective. Sustainability 2013, 5, 3690-3701.

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