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The impacts of higher education institutions on sustainable development: a review and conceptualization
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria.
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Industrial economics. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production. (Centrum för logistik och innovativ produktion, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1441-7555
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria.
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2019 (English)In: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, ISSN 1467-6370, E-ISSN 1758-6739, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 23-38Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

This paper aims to conceptualize impacts of higher education institutions (HEIs) on sustainable development (SD), complementing previous literature reviews by broadening the perspective from what HEIs do in pursuit of SD to how these activities impact society, the environment and the economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed journal articles published between 2005 and 2017. Inductive content analysis was applied to identify major themes and impact areas addressed in the literature to develop a conceptual framework detailing the relationship between HEIs’ activities and their impacts on SD.

Findings

The paper identifies six impact areas where direct and indirect impacts of HEIs on SD may occur. The findings indicate a strong focus on case studies dealing with specific projects and a lack of studies analyzing impacts from a more holistic perspective.

Practical implications

This systematic literature review enables decision-makers in HEIs, researchers and educators to better understand how their activities may affect society, the environment and the economy, and it provides a solid foundation to tackle these impacts.

Social implications

The review highlights that HEIs have an inherent responsibility to make societies more sustainable. HEIs must embed SD into their systems while considering their impacts on society.

Originality/value

This paper provides a holistic conceptualization of HEIs’ impacts on SD. The conceptual framework can be useful for future research that attempts to analyze HEIs’ impacts on SD from a holistic perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 20, no 1, p. 23-38
Keywords [en]
Higher education institutions, Sustainability, Impact, Review, Sustainable development
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29012DOI: 10.1108/IJSHE-07-2017-0114ISI: 000459477100002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85059172723OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29012DiVA, id: diva2:1274624
Available from: 2019-01-02 Created: 2019-01-02 Last updated: 2019-08-12Bibliographically approved

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Lozano, Rodrigo

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Industrial economicsCenter for Logistics and Innovative Production
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