A characterisation of the academic profile of a community of professors involved in sustainable human development : the case of the Global Dimension in Engineering Education
Document typeConference lecture
Rights accessOpen Access
In the last decade, a number of technical universities and engineering faculties have been engaged in different initiatives aimed at integrating sustainable development in their functions. Academic staff engagement in sustainable development issues has been recognised to be a catalyst in curriculum change processes. This contribution presents and discusses key findings from a research conducted on academics involved in training activities related to Sustainable Human Development in the framework of the European initiative “Global Dimension in Engineering Education – GDEE”. This initiative aims at promoting the integration of Sustainable Human Development as cross-cutting issue in teaching activities of technical universities, mainly by improving the competencies of academic staff, and through staff engagement in a wide range of initiatives related to Sustainable Human Development. A number of academics, mostly engineers and lecturers from European technical universities, have been involved in different activities of the project: elaboration of training materials, delivery, coordination and evaluation of on-line courses, development of case studies and attendance of courses. The present study analyses and characterises the academic profile of two groups of academics, with different grade of expertise and involvement in Sustainable Human Development, with the aim to enhance the understanding of the academic profile of faculty engaged these topics, and fostering the replicability of similar initiatives in different contexts. From one side, a group of experts that have contributed in developing training materials and on-line courses. From the other side, a group of participants to training activities, namely academics of engineering or science-based universities that completed one or more courses offered through the Spanish virtual platform. The methodology includes i) a bibliometric analysis of the scientific publications of the two groups, and ii) an analysis of a semistructured questionnaire focused on academic activities and social outreach of this collective. The results provide an in-deep characterization of this community, highlighting trends and similarities of the academic activities and the scientific production of this collective. The analysis also highlighted that academics involved in this project present research and teaching activities strongly integrated and with positive mutual feedback, as well as relevant linkages with civil society and nongovernmental organisations. Based on these findings, the paper concludes suggesting a specific profile of trainers to successfully promote initiatives similar to GDEE in other contexts and proposing the implementation of more appropriate policies and mechanisms, at university level, to recognize the efforts of academics engaged in issues related to Sustainable Human Development
CitationLazzarini, B., Pérez-Foguet, A., Boni, A. A characterisation of the academic profile of a community of professors involved in sustainable human development : the case of the Global Dimension in Engineering Education. A: International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference. "Proceedings of the 22nd International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference ISDRS 2016 Rethinking Sustainability Models and Practices: Challenges for the New and Old World Contexts". 2016, p. 419-438.
- Departament d'Enginyeria Civil i Ambiental - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- EScGD - Engineering Sciences and Global Development - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Institut Universitari de Recerca en Ciència i Tecnologies de la Sostenibilitat - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos