To read this content please select one of the options below:

Learning outcomes for sustainable development in higher education

Magdalena Svanström (Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden)
Francisco J. Lozano‐García (ITESM, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico)
Debra Rowe (US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, Washington DC, USA)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 11 July 2008




This paper sets out to discuss the commonalities that can be found in learning outcomes (LOs) for education for sustainable development in the context of the Tbilisi and Barcelona declarations. The commonalities include systemic or holistic thinking, the integration of different perspectives, skills such as critical thinking, change agent abilities and communication, and finally different attitudes and values.


An analysis of LOs that are proposed in the Tbilisi and Barcelona declarations is conducted, showing specific issues for the commonalities presented. Examples of LOs from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico, as well as various associations from the USA is shown. A brief discussion is done on the means to achieve these LOs and learning evaluation.


In the example sets of LOs shown, the commonalities presented in the paper's first section appear in the LOs proposed by the institutions. Based on current knowledge and perception, sustainability is properly addressed in the examples.

Practical implications

The paper can be used to foster a wider discussion and analysis of LOs for sustainability education, also further work on teachers' capacity building for sustainability, as well as the assessment needed for future professionals in higher education institutions.


The paper presents the onset of discussing and comparing commonalities among higher education institutions regarding sustainability LOs.



Svanström, M., Lozano‐García, F.J. and Rowe, D. (2008), "Learning outcomes for sustainable development in higher education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 339-351.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles