Fostering Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: The Case of Tor Vergata University of Rome

Chiara DI GERIO, Gloria FIORANI, Giuseppe PACIULLO

Abstract


In the panorama of international strategies and commitments to sustainability, education is central to the pursuit of sustainable development. Educational institutions at all levels are playing a new role in promoting values and ideals linked to sustainable behavioral models. These models can face the complexity of reality in a cooperative, active and responsible way, leading to a vision for solidarity and progress. In this context, universities face huge challenges. They must recognize the changes happening in society and change accordingly. Universities are therefore increasingly required to actively introduce attitudes and behaviors that favor sustainable development and involve the entire academic community in this process. This paper aims to define the role of universities in sustainable development. As well as training professionals, their roles and responsibilities mean that they strongly influence the societies in which they operate. To become sustainable and ensure that their respective territories follow suit, universities must change internally and initiate systemic processes to engage all members of their communities. Moreover, dynamic bottom-up models of learning and dissemination of environmental sustainability and social responsibility should aim to encourage students to be active inside and outside their universities. After a detailed literature review, this paper explores how sustainable development should be used in educational paths as well as didactic activities to influence the way students think, act and engage within their academic communities. Based on the objective of this work, the case of the Tor Vergata University of Rome is used to describe the results of the active change.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Albareda-Tiana, S., Ruíz-Morales, J., Azcárate, P., Valderrama-Hernández, R., & Múñoz, J.M. (2020). The EDINSOST project: implementing the sustainable development goals at the university level. In Leal Filho, W., Salvia, A.L., Pretorius, R., Brandli, L., Manolas, E., Alves, F., Azeiteiro, U., Rogers, J., Shiel, C., & Do Paco, A. (Eds), Universities as Living Labs for Sustainable Development (pp.193-210). Cham, CH: Springer.

Antonelli, A., Bachiorri, A., Calvano, G., De Nictolis, E., Fiorani, G., Giommarini, C., & Iaione, C. (2019, May). Educazione Universitaria per la Sostenibilità. Paper presented at the Conferenza dei Rettori delle Università Italiane, Rome, Italy.

Barth, M., & Michelsen, G. (2013). Learning for change: an educational contribution to sustainability science. Sustainability Science, 8, 103-119. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-012-0181-5.

Beynaghi, A., Trencher, G., Moztarzadeh, F., Mozafari, M., Maknoon, R., & Leal Filho, W. (2016). Future sustainability scenarios for universities: moving beyond the United Nations decade of education for sustainable development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 1464-1474. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.10.117.

Bocchi, G., & Ceruti, M. (2004). Educazione e globalizzazione. Milan, IT: Raffaello Cortina.

Calvano, G. (2017). Educare per lo sviluppo sostenibile. Rome, IT: Aracne.

Carayannis, E.G., & Campbell, D.F.J. (2010). Triple helix, quadruple helix and quintuple helix and how do knowledge, innovation and the environment relate to each other? A proposed framework for a trans-disciplinary analysis of sustainable development and social ecology. International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development, 1(1), 41-69. DOI: 10.4018/jsesd.2010010105.

Cortese, A.D. (2003). The critical role of higher education in creating a sustainable future. Planning for Higher Education, 31(3), 15-22.

Ferrer-Balas, D., Buckland, H., & Mingo M. (2009). Explorations on the university's role in society for sustainable development through a systems transition approach. Case-study of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). Journal of Cleaner Production, 17(12), 1075-1085. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2008.11.006.

Ferrer-Balas, D., Lozano, R., Hisingh, D., Buckland, H., Ysern, P., & Zilahy, G. (2010). Going beyond the rhetoric: system-wide changes in universities for sustainable societies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 18(7), 607-610. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.12.009

Fornasa, W., & Salomone, M. (2007). Formation and sustainability. Responsibility of the University. Milan, IT: Franco Angeli Editore.

Geryk, M. (2018). Sustainable development goals as a perspective for higher education institutions. Research Papers of Wroclaw University of Economics, 520, 54-63.

Kang, L., & Xu, L. (2018). Creating sustainable universities: organizational pathways of transformation. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 7(4), 339-339. DOI: 10.14207/ejsd.2018.v7n4p339.

Larsson, J., & Holmberg, J. (2018). Learning while creating value for sustainability transitions: the case of Challenge Lab at Chalmers University of Technology. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 4411-4420. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.03.072.

Leicht, A., Heiss, J., & Byun, W. J. (2018). Issues and trends in education for sustainable development. Paris, FR: UNESCO.

Lozano, R., Ceulemans, K., Alonso-Almeida, M., Huisingh, D., Lozano, F.J., Waas, T., Lambrechts, W., Lukman, R., & Hugè, J. (2015). A review of commitment and implementation of sustainable development in higher education: results from a worldwide survey. Journal of Cleaner Production, 108(A), 1-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.048.

Malakoff, D. (2013). The many ways of making academic research pay off. Science, 339(6121), 750-753. DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6121.750.

Mititelu, C., Fiorani, G., & Litardi, I. (2017). Fostering sustainable development and entrepreneurship: the new role of university. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 5(3), 395-414.

Mori Junior, R., Fien, J., & Horne, R. (2019). Implementing the UN SDGs in universities: challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned. Sustainability: Journal of Record, 12(2), 129-133. DOI: 10.1089/sus.2019.0004.

Owens, T.L. (2017). Higher education in the sustainable development goals framework. European Journal of Education, 52(4), 414-420. DOI: 10.1111/ejed.12237.

RUS – Educazione (2020). Gruppi di Lavoro. Retrieved on January 25, 2020 from https://sites.google.com/unive.it/rus/gruppi-di-lavoro/educazione.

Sterling, S. (2013). Educazione sostenibile. Cesena, IT: Anima Mundi Editrice.

UNESCO (2009). Review of contexts and structures for education for sustainable development. Paris, FR: UNESCO.

UNESCO (2014). UNESCO Roadmap for implementing the global action programme on education for sustainable development. Paris, FR: UNESCO.

UNESCO (2017). Educazione agli obiettivi per lo sviluppo sostenibile - obiettivi di apprendimento. Paris, FR: UNESCO.

Waas, T., Verbruggen, A., & Wright, T. (2010). University research for sustainable development: definition and characteristics explored. Journal of Cleaner Production, 18(7), 629-636. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.09.017.

Wals, A.E.J. (2015). Beyond unreasonable doubt. Education and learning for socioecological sustainability in the Anthropocene. Wageningen, NL: Wageningen University.

World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Our Common Future. Retrieved on January 25, 2020, from https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5987our-common-future.pdf.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

© Faculty of Management (SNSPA)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under CC BY-NC

The opinions expressed in the papers published are the authors’ own and do not necessarily express the views of the editors of this journal. The authors assume all responsibility for the ideas expressed in the materials published.

ISSN 2392-8042 (online)