Emerald Fulltext Archive Database 1994-2005
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Purpose - In 1997, the University of British Columbia (UBC) adopted a sustainable development policy stating that the campus should adhere to sustainable practices in all of its actions and mandates and that all students who attend UBC will be educated about sustainability. The purpose of the paper is to consider how far UBC has moved in the last six years in the direction of sustainability education, what has been accomplished, what lessons have been learned and what challenges lie ahead. Design/methodology/approach - This paper is a collaborative inquiry created by a number of faculty, staff and one doctoral student working on sustainability education issues at UBC. Findings - The shift to sustainability involves: a fundamental thinking-through of basic issues about the role of the university in society, creating a strong relationship between sustainability principles and the core goals of the university. It also will require a reworking of the design and operation of institutional reward systems, creating an appropriate linkage between the operational and academic functions of the university, and finding an appropriate mix of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. The collaborative writing process helped to bring people together to reflect on the projects of the past and consider the plans for the future. Originality/value - The intention of the paper is to summarize the sustainability education initiatives at UBC, and address barriers and pathways to creating sustainability education programs at the university level. The collaborative stories aim to help other individuals and groups implement sustainability in higher education and contribute to a process of institutional learning for sustainability.
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