Next Article in Journal
Polish Urban Allotment Gardens as ‘Slow City’ Enclaves
Next Article in Special Issue
Reform of Chinese Universities in the Context of Sustainable Development: Teacher Evaluation and Improvement Based on Hybrid Multiple Criteria Decision-Making Model
Previous Article in Journal
Heterogenous Energy Consumption Behavior by Firm Size: Evidence from Korean Environmental Regulations
Previous Article in Special Issue
Sustainability and Indicators of Newly Formed World-Class Universities (NFWCUs) between 2010 and 2018: Empirical Analysis from the Rankings of ARWU, QSWUR and THEWUR
Article

Sustainability Strategies in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions: Commitments and Practices from Internal Insights

1
Department of Sciences and Technology (DCET), Universidade Aberta, 1269-001 Lisbon, Portugal and CENSE, Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research, NOVA University of Lisbon, 2829-516 Lisbon, Portugal
2
Department of Biology and CESAM, Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3227; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113227
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 11 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessment in Higher Education Institutions)
The Copernicus Declaration of 1994, which was understood as a commitment to sustainable development (SD) by top management in higher education, was signed by many universities. This signature worked as an important driver for these institutions to put different dimensions of SD principles into practice. In Portugal, a Southern European country, six of the fourteen universities belonging to the Portuguese University Rectors Council signed the declaration, but no attempt has been made to evaluate how these public universities integrated education for sustainable development at policy and strategy levels. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at identifying to what extent the integration of sustainability in the fourteen universities was achieved, through their own strategic and activity plans and activity and sustainability reports. A detailed content analysis was conducted on these plans and reports within the period from 2005 to 2014 (the time frame of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development), to identify the main commitments and practices. Notwithstanding a lack of national integrated strategies or policies related to education for SD, the results show that the movement made progress at the university level, with good examples and initiatives at several universities. This paper highlights the importance of analyzing the content of plans and reports from higher education institutions (HEIs) when intending to assess and define a country profile for the implementation of sustainability in the educational sector. In addition, this research, conducted in Portugal, may be helpful to understand and value how SD is being applied in the policies and strategies of other European HEIs, as well as to share and encourage best practices and ways of improvement. View Full-Text
Keywords: commitments; education for sustainable development; Portuguese; practices; sustainability reports; universities commitments; education for sustainable development; Portuguese; practices; sustainability reports; universities
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Farinha, C.; Caeiro, S.; Azeiteiro, U. Sustainability Strategies in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions: Commitments and Practices from Internal Insights. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3227. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113227

AMA Style

Farinha C, Caeiro S, Azeiteiro U. Sustainability Strategies in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions: Commitments and Practices from Internal Insights. Sustainability. 2019; 11(11):3227. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113227

Chicago/Turabian Style

Farinha, Carla, Sandra Caeiro, and Ulisses Azeiteiro. 2019. "Sustainability Strategies in Portuguese Higher Education Institutions: Commitments and Practices from Internal Insights" Sustainability 11, no. 11: 3227. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113227

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop