Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Sustainability and Education Policy

  • Artie W. NgEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_482


Sustainability refers to continuity of the world for the next generation with reference to its social, environmental, and economic dimensions. Sustainability, as an interdisciplinary concept, regards sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland 1987). Education about sustainability becomes increasingly important for the next generation, who are exposed to a wide range of challenges concerning sustainability. One of the major concerns is the ongoing impacts brought about by climate change affecting environmental sustainability in various regions of the world, which in turn could affect social and economic sustainability. In order to promote sustainable development in the next generation, adequate education policy for sustainability is advocated among education institutions around the world, with endorsement by the United Nations. Such education policy...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. AACSB (2018) Eligibility procedures and accreditation standards for business accreditation (revised July 1 2018)Google Scholar
  2. Ashford NA, Hall RP (2011) Technology, globalization and sustainable development. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  3. Brundtland GH (1987) Our common future: report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford University, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Cebrian G, Grace M, Humphris D (2013) Organisational learning towards sustainability in higher education. Sustain Account Manag Policy J 4(3):285–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clugston RM, Calder W (1999) Critical dimensions of sustainability in higher education. In: Filho LW (ed) Sustainability and university life. Peter Lang, PieterlenGoogle Scholar
  6. Gray R, Adams CA, Own D (2014) Accountability, social responsibility and sustainability. Pearson, HarlowGoogle Scholar
  7. Guido C, John B, Bellina L, Lang DJ, Wiek A, Cohmer S, Laubichler MD (2018) The global curriculum: a model for transnational collaboration in higher education for sustainable development. J Clean Prod 171(10):368–376Google Scholar
  8. Hill LM, Wang D (2018) Integrating sustainability learning outcomes into a university curriculum: a case study of institutional dynamics. Int J Sustain High Educ 19(4):699–720CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hopwood AG, Unerman J, Fries J (2010) Accounting for sustainability: practical insights. Earthscan, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Huckle J, Sterling S (2014) Education for sustainability. Earthscan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Jones P, Selby D, Sterling S (2010) More than the sum of their parts? Interdisciplinary and sustainability. In: Jones P, Selby D, Sterling S (eds) Sustainability education: perspectives and practices across higher education. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Landrigan P, et al (2017) Lancet commission on pollution and health. The Lancet. Published online Oct 19, 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32345-0
  13. Leal FW (2011) About the role of universities and their contribution to sustainable development. High Educ Pol 24:427–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leal FW, Ulisses A, Alves F, Pace P, Mifsud M, Brandli L, Caeiro SS, Disterheft A (2017a) Reinvigorating the sustainable development research agenda: the role of the sustainable development goals (SDG). Int J Sust Dev World Ecol.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13504509.2017.1342103
  15. Leal FW, Morgan EA, Godoyd ES, Azeiteiroe UM, Bacelar-Nicolau P, Avilag LV, Mac-Lean C, Huge J (2017b) Implementing climate change research at universities: barriers, potential and actions. J Clean Prod 170(1):269–277Google Scholar
  16. Leal FW, Brandli LL, Becker D, Skanavis C, Kounani A, Sardi C, Papaioannidou D, Paço A, Azeiteiro U, Olim de Sousa L, Raath S, Pretorius RW, Shiel C, Vargas V, Trencher G, Marans RW (2018) Sustainable development policies as indicators and pre-conditions for sustainability efforts at universities: fact or fiction? Int J Sustain High Educ 19(1):85–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Leung S, Ng A (2016) Strategic performance of sustainable campus development: case study of a multi-campus tertiary institution in a highly dense city of Asia. In: Leal Filho W et al (eds) Handbook of theory and practice of sustainable development in higher education, vol 2. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 77–92Google Scholar
  18. MacVaugh J, Norton M (2012) Introducing sustainability into business education contexts using active learning. Int J Sustain High Educ 13(1):72–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Martin K, Mullan Z, Horton R (2016) Human health and environmental sustainability: the 21st century’s grand challenges. Lancet Glob Health 4:S1–S2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ng A, Leung TCH, Lo JMK (2017) Developing sustainability competence for future professional accountants: the integrative role of an undergraduate program. In: Leal Filho W et al (eds) Handbook of theory and practice of sustainable development in higher education, World sustainability series. Springer, Cham, pp 119–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ng AW, Fong BYF, Leung TCH (2018) Health and sustainability: reinforcing public and private engagement through tertiary institutions. In: Azeiteiro U, Akerman M, Leal FW, Setti A, Brandli L (eds) Lifelong learning and education in healthy and sustainable cities, World sustainability series. Springer, Cham, pp 169–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Savelyeva T (2016) Vernadsky meets Yulgok: a non-western dialogue on sustainability. Educ Philos Theory 49(5):501–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shephard K (2008) Higher education for sustainability: seeking affective learning outcomes. Int J Sustain High Educ 9(1):87–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sterling S (2010) Learning for resilience, or the resilient learner? Towards a necessary reconciliation in a paradigm of sustainable education. Environ Educ Res 16(5–6):511–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tilbury D (2011) Education for sustainable development: an expert review of processes and learning. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  26. Tilbury D (2014) Environmental education for sustainability: a force for change in higher education. In: Corcoran PB, Wals AEJ (eds) Higher education and the challenge of sustainability: problematics, promise and practice. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, pp 97–112Google Scholar
  27. UNESCO (1997) Educating for a sustainable future: a transdisciplinary vision for concerted action. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Professional Education and Executive Development, College of Professional and Continuing EducationThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rudi Pretorius
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa