Social Indicators Research

, Volume 147, Issue 2, pp 421–437 | Cite as

Understanding and Opinion on Sustainable Development Among Youths in Higher Educational Institutions in Penang, Malaysia

  • Fatin Nabilla Ariffin
  • Theam Foo NgEmail author
Original Research


The implementations of sustainable development are a global trend and recently focus on Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda. Furthermore, in ensuring the successful implementation of the Agenda, youths play a vital role in spreading awareness, knowledge and good practices in sustainable development. This research aims to determine the respondents’ level of understanding as well as opinion about sustainable development values. A questionnaire survey was conducted at six higher education institutions in Penang, yielding a total of 402 respondents. Data were analysed statistically using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Based on data that has been analysed by the SPSS software, the mean result showed that respondents have a high level of understanding concerning sustainable development. Besides, the mean result also presented that respondents had positive and strong support for sustainable development. Furthermore, a Mann–Whitney test showed that there are no significant differences between gender on understanding sustainable development. Similarly, a Mann–Whitney test indicates that there are no differences between the field of study. Thus, based on the findings, it is hoped that this study could provide an insight to policy makers and educational institutions in involving the youth in decision-making process and in planning better programs to promote sustainable development in Malaysia.


Education for sustainable development Higher education Sustainability Young citizen Malaysia 



This research is made possible by the support of the Universiti Sains Malaysia Research University (Individual) Grant Number 1001.PCGSS.816265.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS)Universiti Sains MalaysiaGeorge TownMalaysia

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