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Open AccessArticle

Supporting the Integration of Sustainability into Higher Education Curricula—A Case Study from Switzerland

1
Swiss Foundation for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Department of ESD development, Monbijoustr. 31, Postfach, 3001 Bern, Switzerland
2
Institute of Natural Resource Sciences, Centre for Urban Greening (Green Care), Department of Life Sciences and Facility Management, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Campus Grüental, Postfach, 8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3291-3300; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6063291
Received: 1 April 2014 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 12 May 2014 / Published: 27 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings of the 3rd International Sustainability Conference)
From the perspective of different stakeholders, education for sustainable development (ESD) in higher education is highly desirable. In practice, however, this may present challenges, as it involves systemic and cultural changes as well as organizational transformation. A working group at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences supported such a transformative process with the aim of fostering, linking and subsequently deepening the dimensions of sustainable development in the existing curricula. By means of an assessment tool (spider diagram) developed through a bottom-up action research procedure, the working group initiated a discussion on sustainability among university lecturers, research associates and students. Results support the hypothesis that resistance to incorporating dimensions of sustainability into the curriculum can effectively be avoided by such an approach. The effectiveness of the assessment tool increased the commitment and the willingness of lecturers to share a common goal of demonstrating the relevance of sustainability in higher education. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable development in higher education; assessment of sustainable development; curricula; teacher training; bottom-up processes; qualitative research; case study sustainable development in higher education; assessment of sustainable development; curricula; teacher training; bottom-up processes; qualitative research; case study
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Hamiti, S.W.; Wydler, H. Supporting the Integration of Sustainability into Higher Education Curricula—A Case Study from Switzerland. Sustainability 2014, 6, 3291-3300.

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