Seven recommendations for creating sustainability education at the university level

Janet Moore (Centre for Sustainable Community Development, Simon Fraser University – Harbour Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Publication date: 1 December 2005



This paper describes a set of recommendations that will aid universities planning to create sustainability education programs. These recommendations are not specific to curriculum or programs but are instead recommendations for academic institutions considering a shift towards “sustainability education” in the broadest sense. The purpose of this research was to consider the possible directions for the future of sustainability education at the university level.


Through a series of workshops using a “value focused thinking” framework, a small team of researchers engaged a large number of stakeholders in a dialogue about sustainability education at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. Recommendations were compiled from workshop data as well as data from 30 interviews of participants connected with decision‐making and sustainability at UBC.


The recommendations include infusing sustainability into all university decisions, promoting and practicing collaboration and transdisciplinarity and focusing on personal and social sustainability. Other recommendations included an integration of university plans, decision‐making structures and evaluative measures and the integration of the research, service and teaching components of the university. There is a need for members of the university community to create space for reflection and pedagogical transformation.


The intention of the paper is to outline the details of a participatory workshop that uses value‐focused thinking in order to engage university faculty and administration in a dialogue about sustainability education. Students, faculty and staff working towards sustainability education will be able to adapt the workshop to their own institutions.



Moore, J. (2005), "Seven recommendations for creating sustainability education at the university level", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 326-339.

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