Participatory processes and institutional debate activities as key complementary aspects for embedding sustainability in higher education
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Introducing sustainable development into educational programs of universities tend to be approached under two complementary strategies: “top-down” and “bottom-up”. Top-down strategies promote the adaptation of the institutional framework to the new challenges that sustainable development generates into technical expertise areas. Bottom-up strategies focus on institutional activities oriented to convincing or supporting lecturers in integrating sustainable development in their different courses and projects. However, these actions are not enough for the actual challenge if sustainable development is seen as a transformative social learning process in which the role of academia regarding sustainable development “is not on integration but rather one of innovation and systemic change within our institutions that will allow for more transformative learning to take place”. Thus, there are other strategies “in-between” that complement these to approaches, because they help to accelerate the institutional culture shift and therefore facilitate the concrete changes needed. The aim of this paper is to describe the UPC experience on the development of two complementary aspects developed under its UPC Sustainable 2015 institutional strategy: participatory processes and institutional debate activities.
CitationEsteban F., Ferrer-Balas D., Barceló M. "Participatory processes and institutional debate activities as key complementary aspects for embedding sustainability in higher education". Proceedings of EESD 08 International Conference of Engineering Education in Sustainable Development. Graz: TUGraz, 2008