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Special Issue "Co-education and Sustainability in Higher Education"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Carina Soledad González-González
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ITED Research Group, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Universidad de La Laguna, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
Interests: intelligent tutoring systems; intelligent interfaces; human centered design; UX; serious games; gamification; e-learning; digital culture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Alicia García-Holgado
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science, University of Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
Interests: social responsibility and inclusion; gender in STEM; gender and ICT; technological ecosystems; knowledge management; human–computer interaction
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Rebecca Strachan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Computer and Information Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK
Interests: technology enabled learning; user experience and behaviour; STEM outreach and public engagement; Computer Networks; Green ICT
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Gender inequality is one of the problems faced in the UNESCO Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) as part of the 2030 agenda. In particular, the fifth goal, "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls," is focused on implementing measures to reduce the gender gap and empower women in all society, including the labor market. Besides, gender equality can be considered a cross-cutting objective because it is present in most SDGs, such as the fourth goal, which is focused on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. Also, the eighth goal covers some targets related to promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, taking into account women's situations, particularly women with migrant backgrounds.

Higher education institutions have a crucial role in the achievement of the sustainability goals, not only to implement actions for solving the problems inside the institutions, but also to ensure that the students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development beyond the educational context.

In this context, gender equality and fostering diversity should be key objectives in higher education institutions. They should not be only part of the running of the institutions; they should be introduced in the teaching and learning processes. There are different approaches for gender mainstreaming and fostering diversity and inclusion. The Special Issue aims to identify, share, and valorize experiences, projects, and best practices focused on sustainability development in higher education with a particular focus on gender equality, diversity, and inclusion challenges.

It will address a broad range of topics related to sustainability with a gender approach in higher education, including (but not limited) to the following:

- co-educative practices in higher education

- actions for sustainability in higher education

- gender mainstreaming

- diversity issues in the classroom

- educational innovation with gender perspective

- digital co-education

- actions for promoting cultural diversity

Dr. Carina Soledad González-González
Dr. Alicia García-Holgado
Dr. Rebecca Strachan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Gender gap
  • Co-education
  • Higher Education
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Educational Innovation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Mentors as Female Role Models in STEM Disciplines and Their Benefits
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 12938; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132312938 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 329
Abstract
Several studies have addressed the benefits of mentoring from the mentor’s perspective, especially those related to soft skills. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no studies that either relate the mentoring in STEM areas with female role models or that [...] Read more.
Several studies have addressed the benefits of mentoring from the mentor’s perspective, especially those related to soft skills. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no studies that either relate the mentoring in STEM areas with female role models or that analyze them from a data-mining perspective. In this work, a questionnaire was elaborated to address the mentor’s benefits related to soft skills and technical knowledge; afterward, a data-mining methodology was used to analyze the mentor’s perceptions related to female role models and STEM reinforcement. In addition, sentiment analysis was performed in order to determine the emotional polarity in the text used by the mentors to describe their mentoring experience. The results show that soft and technical skills are acquired by the mentors, and participating in mentoring programs allows them to perceive themselves as female role models. Additionally, by using decision trees, it was possible to determine the mentors’ characteristics that perceive a STEM reinforcement or that produce attraction. In addition, the results show that the general perception of the mentors’ experience was positive. Finally, the use of machine learning techniques, specifically data mining and sentiment analysis, allowed us to both confirm the results obtained in a qualitative way and to obtain new interesting results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Co-education and Sustainability in Higher Education)
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Article
The Value of Transfer of Knowledge in Bridging the Gender Gap in STEM
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5426; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105426 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
Spanish researchers’ recent evaluations regarding the transfer of knowledge have shown that activities that could help close the gender gap in STEM areas are penalized upon evaluation. The results were very disappointing and, upon inspection, could lead readers to reach certain conclusions: first, [...] Read more.
Spanish researchers’ recent evaluations regarding the transfer of knowledge have shown that activities that could help close the gender gap in STEM areas are penalized upon evaluation. The results were very disappointing and, upon inspection, could lead readers to reach certain conclusions: first, Spanish researchers transfer research to society in a mediocre way; second, female researchers are even less capable of transferring knowledge in a profitable, beneficial way; and third, activities without a high economic impact for either society or research institutions are not promoted and do not boost the prestige of researchers in this research area. With the help of an ad hoc questionnaire responded to by 513 researchers (both male and female), we examined the causes of the low scores received by female researchers and whether transfer of knowledge activities focused on promoting STEM among female students end up penalizing the female researchers dedicated to those activities. This issue is compounded by the problem of the low visibility of female role models for young female students. The conscientious analysis of the results of the questionnaire may help to improve the fairness of future application rounds, avoiding subsequent disastrous results and encouraging researchers and administrators to work toward fostering an equal society, even if no economic value is directly derived from female-led research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Co-education and Sustainability in Higher Education)
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Article
English Validation of a Short Scale Designed to Detect Negative Attitudes towards Trans People (EANT)
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3760; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073760 - 28 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 894
Abstract
(1) Background: Negative attitudes towards sexual minorities are widespread in our society. The Scale of Negative Attitudes towards Transgender people (EANT) has been tested in Spanish-speaking countries in order to assess its applicability as a measure of harmful predispositions towards trans individuals. Understanding [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Negative attitudes towards sexual minorities are widespread in our society. The Scale of Negative Attitudes towards Transgender people (EANT) has been tested in Spanish-speaking countries in order to assess its applicability as a measure of harmful predispositions towards trans individuals. Understanding these predispositions is important because of transformations in the rights of people in terms of respect for gender diversity. (2) Methods: For the validation of this scale, an online survey was developed and distributed to 362 UK university students aged 18 to 45 years (M = 21.43, SD = 3.42). The sample was randomly divided in half, carrying out the exploratory factor analysis for the first 180 students and performing the confirmatory factor analysis for the remaining 182. (3) Results: The validation of this unifactorial instrument in English was obtained, with a high internal consistency (α = 0.810) that suggests high applicability to measuring this construct, as well as showing expected relationships with typical variables (HATH, TIBS, gender, sexual orientation, religion and education). (4) Conclusions: This study assesses attitudinal tendencies and reveals how sexual prejudice is still implicit in our societies and makes the stigmatisation and discrimination of trans people visible. These findings support the development of strategies to tackle these predispositions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Co-education and Sustainability in Higher Education)
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Article
Inclusive Higher Education and the Built Environment. A Research and Teaching Agenda for Gender Mainstreaming in Architecture Studies
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2565; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052565 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 956
Abstract
As one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, gender equality is a necessary foundation for a peaceful and sustainable world. The integration of the frameworks of analysis and action provided by gender perspective into the design, development and [...] Read more.
As one of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, gender equality is a necessary foundation for a peaceful and sustainable world. The integration of the frameworks of analysis and action provided by gender perspective into the design, development and assessment of any program related to university education, research and management is essential to the fulfillment of both quality higher education and an effective transfer of knowledge and values to society. Starting from a standpoint of commitment to this progressive outlook, this essay focuses on the specific case of the University of Alicante, Spain, and on its Architecture studies. It seeks to underline the achievements of this institution in the fostering of a critical spirit and the empathy of its students by way of the implementation of gender perspective as a tool for the conception of complex, diverse and integrating projects, aligned to the objective of mutual care between people and the environment. This is crucial for the co-education of future generations of architects, who will play a central role in the definition of new practices and policies related to space and materials, which favor a more sustainable, inclusive and caring scenario for both humans and non-humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Co-education and Sustainability in Higher Education)
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