Students' perception of environmental sustainability (ES) exercises at higher education institutions (HEIs) in Bangladesh

Md. Nazmul Haque (Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hiroshima University, Higashihiroshima, Japan) (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)
Muhallil Abtahee (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)
Afra Anika Islam (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)
Md. Ashhab Sadiq (Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)

Frontiers in Engineering and Built Environment

ISSN: 2634-2499

Article publication date: 28 February 2023

Issue publication date: 29 August 2023

2818

Abstract

Purpose

Environmental sustainability (ES) is a vital issue in recent times as higher education institutions (HEIs) are expected to have significant environmental impacts. This study aims to explore the ES attitudes in three different HEIs in Bangladesh based on student perception.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data from 200 respondents of 3 HEIs through a questionnaire survey has been collected. The questionnaire was designed to collect data on six criteria: awareness, concern, attitude, willingness to participate and recommendations about campus ES. Pearson's chi-square (χ2), Fisher's exact test statistic, one-way analysis of variance and Spearman's correlation have been used to measure difference and correlation in SPSS.

Findings

Though students are aware of ES, only 21% are concerned about the issue. In total, 68% of respondents agreed that campus ES is not a responsibility of authority alone and that others have a role to play; 24% of students do not even know about recycling practices; and 73% of the respondents suggested that knowledge-sharing seminars/conferences could be the best way to improve the campus's ES.

Practical implications

A top-down planning approach excludes students from decision-making and direct engagement in Sustainable Campus building. Including student perceptions in planning assists policymakers and smooths the path to a more sustainable campus.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing literature by providing insight into students' perceptions of sustainability practices in the campus environment.

Keywords

Citation

Haque, M.N., Abtahee, M., Islam, A.A. and Sadiq, M.A. (2023), "Students' perception of environmental sustainability (ES) exercises at higher education institutions (HEIs) in Bangladesh", Frontiers in Engineering and Built Environment, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 167-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/FEBE-07-2022-0030

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Md. Nazmul Haque, Muhallil Abtahee, Afra Anika Islam and Md. Ashhab Sadiq

License

Published in Frontiers in Engineering and Built Environment. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


1. Introduction

In recent decades, the topic of sustainable development (SD) in higher education institutions (HEIs) has become more widely discussed due to a rising understanding of the university's role in promoting SD (Yuan and Zuo, 2013). According to Nejati and Nejati (2013), a sustainable university can be defined as a university that, through an ongoing commitment to sustainability and monitoring, promotes and implements sustainable practices in learning, research, community engagement, waste, energy management and land use and planning. Additionally, via research, teaching and practices, HEIs play a significant role in fostering sustainability understanding and developing the next generation of leaders to secure a sustainable future for all (Emanuel and Adams, 2011; Shiel et al., 2016). To assure sustainable development, a variety of international university alliances have been developed, including the Bologna Charter, Halifax Declaration, Talloires Declaration and Copernicus Charter for Sustainable Development (Alam et al., 2020; Mulà et al., 2017).

The United Nations created 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of SD in 2015, and they must be accomplished globally by the year 2030 (United Nations, 2016). HEIs have huge potential to help accomplish the SDG's objectives. When it comes to promoting awareness about SD, HEIs are quite powerful (Griebeler et al., 2022). In order to accomplish the SDGs within their institutions, many universities worldwide are now embracing and putting into practice various sustainability programs and approaches (Braßler and Sprenger, 2021; Brudermann et al., 2019; Dzimińska et al., 2020; Fourati-jamoussi et al., 2021). According to studies conducted in Austria (Brudermann et al., 2019), the USA (Jung et al., 2019) and the UK (Chen and Price, 2020), the majority of students are extremely aware of and willing to support sustainable efforts at their colleges and universities. Similar studies have recently been conducted in developing nations. These studies include an evaluation of students' perceptions of some factors contributing to higher education for SD in a university in China (Wang et al., 2020), a research study about students' perceptions and attitudes toward sustainability in universities of Malaysia (Abd-Razak et al., 2011), and studies on sustainability awareness among students and faculty members in Saudi Arabia (Abubakar et al., 2016; Alkhayyal et al., 2019; Alsaati et al., 2020).

A university that receives most of its funding from the state is known as a public University, and a national university is primarily a university founded or governed by a government. However, it may also simultaneously function independently without being directly supervised by the state (Akther, 2019). Many academics have advocated for a “whole-of-university” approach to sustainability and a rethinking of how higher education might address sustainability challenges through community outreach, cooperation and involvement of the many university stakeholders, in addition to curriculum and research (Beringer and Adomßent, 2008; Mcmillin and Dyball, 2009; Wright, 2002). Universities have a significant role in treating and spreading knowledge through instruction and communication. Education may transform people's perceptions of and attitudes toward sustainability, which is necessary to achieve sustainability goals (Kanapathy et al., 2019). This is significant because a university's ability to develop its academic infrastructure by defining the proper faculty priorities and practices depends on its campus's sustainability (Msengi et al., 2019).

Environmental resources are suffering greatly due to climate change and human interference in Bangladesh, one of the most climate-vulnerable nations (Ishtiaque et al., 2020). Salequzzaman and Stocker (2001) contend that Bangladesh might combat environmental degradation in two ways: by promoting environmental education and opening up career opportunities in fields related to SD (Hoque et al., 2017). However, whether the time, effort and resources devoted to sustainability programs will be effective depends on students' desire to put in the work necessary to benefit from them. SDGs cannot be successfully implemented without the participation and support of numerous stakeholders (Ghosh, 2011). Strong cooperation of many stakeholders including student organizations, cafeteria operators, staff, students and senior management to promote and grow environmental preservation is needed to accomplish the ultimate aim of an ES campus (Chan et al., 2022).

SDG deployment at HEIs in Bangladesh is quite difficult. There's also a paucity of sustainability strategies in Bangladesh's HEIs (Filho et al., 2022). Understanding how concerned, interested and eager students are participating in sustainability programs may help contextualize how much sustainability a university and its students are likely to practice. In educational contexts, student perceptions offer a crucial perspective. To ensure that target groups' demands are considered during the planning process, feedback from these groups is crucial (Abd-Razak et al., 2011). Though many studies have been conducted on sustainability in HEIs in Bangladesh and beyond, little work has given insight into students' perceptions of campus ES performance. This research intends to fill that gap. This study attempts to measure and compare the awareness, concern, attitude, willingness to participate and recommendation of students toward a sustainable campus environment of three campuses in Khulna on sustainability issues – which will be helpful for university policymaker authority to get an insight into students' perception about campus ES, their demands and feedback to develop policymaking and planning process.

2. Materials and methods

2.1 Study area

Though several studies have been done on HEI students' perceptions of ES practices in western countries, Global South, especially the southern part of Bangladesh, lacks this study. Khulna is located near the southwestern coastal strip, at 22.49° north latitude and 89.34° east longitude. This city is regarded as the regional headquarters, and it is traditionally acknowledged as a divisional megacity in Bangladesh (Islam and Moniruzzaman, 2019). This city is disaster-prone because of its location near the Bay of Bengal and Sundarbans and is vulnerable to climate change. In Khulna city, several climate issues such as salt intrusion, biodiversity decline, flood, water logging and so on occur. Understanding student perceptions of Khulna city must be understood so that university authorities may include these in their planning and make the campus environment more sustainable in this climatically vulnerable area. Three HEIs in Khulna city were taken as the study area as they are three major HEIs in southwestern part of Bangladesh and, students who are studying in these universities are from all over the country. Two public universities, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) and Khulna University (KU), as well as a national university, Government Brajalal National University (BLNU), situated in Khulna, were chosen for this study. Figure 1 depicts these three HEIs inside the Khulna district.

2.1.1 Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET)

KUET is located in the north-west corner of Khulna City, 12 km from the city center (Abdullah et al., 2005). Under 3 faculties, there are 20 departments. The total area of the campus is 101 acres. There are seven residential halls and about 4,800 students.

2.1.2 Khulna University (KU)

KU is around 5 km from the city center of Khulna (Roy et al., 2016). There are 8 faculties and 29 disciplines at this university. There are five residential halls for students with a combined campus area of 105.75 acres. At KU, there are 6,965 students.

2.1.3 Govt. Brajalal National University (BLNU)

BLNU is 8 km away from Khulna city center. The total area is 42 acres. There are about 30,000 students. From higher secondary level to post-graduation, 18 subjects at the graduate level and 21 subjects at the post-graduate level are being taught.

2.2 Survey design

The research is based on primary and secondary data. A questionnaire survey (online and physical) was used to collect primary data. A semi-structured questionnaire was prepared based on relevant literature and consultations with experts. The questionnaire was evaluated, and a pilot survey was conducted before finalizing the questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to the three university students via social networking sites to reach a larger audience. Besides, since classes are the best means of reaching students, we distributed the questionnaires through them.

2.3 Sample and sampling technique

Data for the study were collected via online and physical surveys from May to July 2022. The snowball sampling method was used to collect responses from online surveys. Random sampling was used to collect responses from physical surveys. Easily accessible locations were chosen where student availability is higher (e.g. cafeteria, tea stalls, playground, etc.). Two hundred people were surveyed using a questionnaire, 113 responses were from an online survey, and 87 others were from the physical survey. We have followed Wang et al. (2020) to determine the sample size. He used a sample size that is 1.6% of the total population of Guangzhou College of South China University of Technology. For our study, 1.6% of the total population of KUET, KU and BLNU is, respectively, 77, 110 and 480. We obtained 74, 71 and 50 responses from KUET, KU and BLNU, respectively. As the response rate from BLNU was less than the author's expectation, we have further consulted with the experts to fix the sample size in the context of Khulna, Bangladesh, and appropriate statistical tests according to sample size. The expert panel included University teachers, NGO representatives, policymakers and statisticians.

2.4 The survey questionnaire

The questionnaire was divided into eight segments. The first segment focused on the respondents' demographic background, including the name of the university campus, gender, age, years of studying and residency. The second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth portions employed a Five-point Likert scale to assess students' awareness, concern, attitude and willingness to participate in campus sustainability-related issues. These elements in the sections were intended to investigate the students' perception. The seventh section of the survey included two additional questions meant to elicit students' suggestions on addressing environmental difficulties at their university. A separate section contained semi-structured questions. The section was intended to discuss whether any SDGs might be achieved by understanding students' perceptions. For preparing this section of the questionnaire, secondary data were used. Please see Table S1 in the supplementary file for the questionnaire contents.

2.5 Data analysis

This study used multiple statistical approaches to process the collected data. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software Version 17 and Microsoft Excel 2016 were used to collect, process and statistically analyze the data, which were then included in the text, tables and graphs of this study. The ordinal data were examined using descriptive statistics, which not only explained the primary variables of the study but also allowed for further analyses. Pearson's chi-square (χ2), Fisher's exact test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Spearman's correlation were conducted in SPSS. Please see the Data Analysis part in the supplementary file for the description of test statistics and please see Figure S1 in the supplementary file for the conceptual framework of the study.

3. Results and discussion

3.1 Demographic characteristics of the respondents

The demographic composition is almost the same for the institutions. About 38%, 36% and 26% of the respondents are from KUET, KU and BLNU, respectively. In total, 65% of respondents are male and 35% are female. This could indicate that male undergraduates are more eager to participate in volunteer activities. From the total number of respondents, the majority live in residential halls of their respective institutions' campuses, with a percentage of 53%.

3.2 Feedback categories: environmental managerial insights in residential Halls

Evaluating the waste and water management systems in residential halls is crucial because most students live there on every campus. These are essential for improving the campus environment and the students' welfare. A section of the questionnaire asked respondents to rate the state of the waste and water management systems in their residential halls on a Five-point Likert scale. The results are shown in Table 1.

The outcome in Table 1(a) demonstrates that most respondents mentioned a good waste management system in KUET. Overall, 39% claimed the system is good, and 27% of respondents claiming it is very good. However, 32% claimed the system is in a moderate state, and 1% claimed it is in a bad or extremely bad state.

According to the respondents, the KU residential hall's waste management system is in good shape. In total, 62% said the system is in good condition, 14% said it is in very good condition and 20% said it is in moderate condition. Most students at BLNU (48%) said their system is in moderate condition, while only 20% said it is in good condition and only 12% said it is in very good condition. However, 20% claimed that the hall's waste management system was terrible. A significant difference in the three campuses' waste management systems was revealed by Fisher's value “41” (p < 0.05). According to the students, the waste management systems are generally in good shape in the residence halls of KUET and KU, while they are in moderate condition in BLNU. This outcome is expected because KUET and KU have waste management plants, whereas BLNU does not. But Fisher's value “37” (p < 0.05) of water management systems ranked the three campuses with less significance. Table 1(b) shows that in KUET, most respondents indicated a good and moderate water management system. About 38% of them said the system is good, while 16% of the respondents indicated the system is very good. Even though salinity is a major issue in this area, the presence of a water treatment plant has improved the water management system at KUET.

According to the respondents, the water management systems in KUET and KU are good compared to BLNU. In KU, the majority (59%) of respondents rated the system as good, 6% as very good and 23% said it is in moderate condition for them. In BLNU, the majority (48%) of them said their system is in moderate condition, while only 14% said it is in good condition and only 6% said it is in very good condition. This result is expected because there is salinity in the water at BLNU and there is no water treatment plant. On the other hand, KU has no salinity in its water, and KUET has a water treatment plant to deal with its salinity problem.

3.3 Students awareness, concern and attitude toward environmental sustainability (ES)

The responsibility to preserve natural resources and maintain global ecosystems to support health and well-being today and in the future is known as ES. This section asked questions about sustainability to test students' awareness, concern and attitude toward ES. This is crucial because it may help to understand how much a university and its students are involved in sustainable practices by considering students' awareness, concern, attitude and willingness to contribute to sustainability initiatives. The results are shown in Table 2. Table 2(a) shows the students' awareness about ES and recycling. The results of Fisher's exact tests revealed a significant difference between students' awareness of ES in these HEIs (p < 0.05). Most respondents (47% of KUET, 59% of KU and 36% of BLNU) said they are aware of ES and give it moderate attention. In total, 28% of KUET respondents, 16% of KU respondents and 16% of BLNU respondents are aware of it and take it seriously. Amd 70% of respondents in those study areas are familiar with it. As ES awareness campaigns are not common in these HEIs, the remaining 30% of students are unaware of them and do not participate in efforts to create a sustainable campus environment.

Chi-square test reveals that there is no statistically significant difference between students' awareness of recycling among these three HEIs (p > 0.05). According to Table 2(a), most of the respondents in all three HEIs (KUET-38%, KU-32% and BLNU-28%) are aware of recycling and give it some consideration. However, a significant portion of the respondents were found to be not aware of it and not giving it any kind of attention. In this category, BLNU has the highest percentage with 28%, followed by KU with 25% and KUET with 20%. Overall, 11% of the respondents are aware of recycling butdo not pay attention to it, 24% are unaware of it and do not pay attention. This is a clear sign that most respondents are unaware of the importance of recycling and do not practice recycling in their daily lives. This outcome might suggest that the HEIs failed to adequately convey the value of recycling to the students.

Table 2(b) shows the concern of the students toward ES. In KUET, most respondents (about 47%) strongly disagreed with the statement “Campus environmental sustainability is only concern of authority,” while 16% disagreed slightly and 18% were neutral when the question was asked. The same outcome for that statement has also been seen at KU and BLNU. While most respondents at KU (58%) and BLNU (46%) strongly disagreed. Overall, most respondents disagree with the statement. They think that campus ES concerns everyone, not only authorities, which indicates their positive concern about the environment. They may improve the campus environment's sustainability if given the right direction. The chi-square test does not reveal any significant difference between the student's concern about this matter of these three HEIs (p > 0.05). A series of questions were used to gauge students' attitudes toward ES. This section is important because it may contain information about students' habits, behaviors and lifestyles at residence, university and public places.

Table 2(c) represents some other students' attitudes regarding ES. A question was asked about the student's preference after consuming a packet of chips or drinking a bottle of juice. The majority (61%) of respondents (70% in KUET, 62% in KU and 46% in the BLNU) said they keep the packets and bottles until they find trash cans. In overall, 50% of the BLNU survey respondents, 35% of KU survey respondents and 26% of KUET survey respondents said they keep it until they find clustered dust. A small percentage (4% in KUET, 3% in KU and4% in BLNU) of respondents said they dump packets or bottles anywhere. It indicates that most students have a positive attitude as they keep the packets or bottles until they find trash cans. The respondents' involvement in creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly campus was questioned. In KUET, most respondents (34%) take no action, while 28% raise awareness of the issue. Most respondents (31%) to the KU survey do nothing, but about 28% of them raise awareness. However, in BLNU, about 28% of respondents work voluntarily, which is significantly better than the attitudes of KU and KUET. Overall, most (30%) students do not contribute to building a more environmentally friendly and sustainable campus, which is alarming.

The results of the chi-square and Fisher's exact tests revealed a significant difference between students' perceptions of the preservation of natural resources, typical responses to polluters and willingness to take part in campus environmental initiatives between the HEIs (p < 0.05). When asked about their opinions on the preservation of natural resources, the majority (48%) of the KUET, KU and BLNU respondents said that it is necessary for the sustainability of the environment. This was deemed to be extremely necessary by more than half of the respondents (54%) in KUET, as well as by 48% of KU respondents, 40% of BLNU respondents, which indicates their positive attitude. The majority (69% in KUET, 72% in KU and 52% in BLNU) of respondents said they warn polluters when asked how they react to them. This indicates their positive attitude toward the environment. While some (26% in KUET, 23% in KU and 30% in BLNU) react indifferently, others formally complain to the appropriate authority.

Figure 2(a) shows the comparison of students' ES practices. The findings are based on multiple-choice questions in which students could select more than one answer. Most of the respondents practice energy conservation. By having 80% of its students practice energy conservation, BLNU takes the top spot, followed by KU (70%) and KUET (65%). The highest rate of water conservation practices was observed at BLNU with 10%, followed by KU with 10% and KUET with 8%. Few respondents engage in recycling and environmentally sustainable landscaping. In total, 20% of respondents from KUET, 10% from KU and 8% from BLNU reported not participating in any practices. Overall, compared to KU and BLNU, the students at KUET are falling behind in sustainability practices. The lack of approaches to the HEIs can be why the students lack sustainability practices. Figure 2(b) shows the comparison of the respondents' transportation mode choice inside campus. The most popular mode of transportation across all study areas has been non-motorized transportation. Walking, cyclingand human-powered transit modes such as rickshaws and non-motorized vans are examples of non-motorized forms of transportation. Non-motorized vehicles are used on campus by 61% of respondents at KU, 57% at KUET and 40% at BLNU. It is expected because most students live in campus residential halls and the availability of non-motorized vehicles is higher. According to their mood (by choice), many respondents vary their mode of transportation (KUET – 23%, KU – 21% and BLNU – 30%). Motorized mode and vehicles emitting GHG are the least common modes as most students live on campus or nearby campus and the availability of motorized vehicles is lower inside the campus.

3.4 Dependency of attitude on student's demographic characteristics

Concerning years of studying, age group and participation in environmental seminars, the results of ANOVA were used to determine whether there were any significant differences in the students' attitudes toward ES. The findings in Table S4 (Supplementary) show that there were statistically significant differences in the attitudes between the student groups who attended environmental-related seminars and those who did not (p < 0.05). It is expected because the environment-related seminars create awareness among students, which, as a result, shapes the attitudes of the students who participate in them in comparison to the other students who do not participate in them. On the other hand, the findings indicate that years of university studies could not shape the students' attitudes (p > 0.05). Also, age does not significantly affect students' attitudes (p > 0.05).

3.5 Willingness to participate in campus environment-friendly activities

A question was asked about students' willingness to participate in campus environment-friendly activities including seminars. Figure 2(c) shows that most of the students remain neutral. In total, 39% of KUET respondents, 37% of KU respondents and 26% of BLNU respondents said they are positive about it and participate when they can afford it. And 18% of KUET respondents, 15% of KU respondents and 22% of BLNU respondents said they participate in campus environmental-friendly activities and are very enthusiastic about them. This indicates that most respondents are unwilling to participate in campus eco-friendly activities.

3.6 Recommendations of students to improve ES on campus

A question was asked on the recommendation to attract students' and authorities' attention to build a more sustainable campus environment. Figure 2(d) shows about 47%, 52% and 44% of respondents from KUET, KU and BLNU, respectively, recommended environment-related knowledge-sharing conferences and seminars to draw attention from students and authorities. In comparison, 19%, 28% and 32% of respondents from KUET, KU and BLNU, respectively, suggested the spread of newspapers, magazines and books about ES can improve campus conditions. In total, 24% of KUET, 17% of KU and 12% of BLNU respondents suggested that student clubs arrange TV-radio shows. It indicates that environmental seminars are the best means to attract students and authorities.

Also, please see supplementary file for further results and discussion related to Major Environmental Issues, Correlation between Student's Awareness, Concern and Attitude and Student Perception and Attainment of SDGs in the Results and Discussion section.

4. Conclusion and recommendations

Understanding the students' perception of campus ES is vital for developing countries like Bangladesh to achieve SDGs. This study aims to get an insight into awareness, concern, attitude, willingness to participate and recommendations of university students regarding ES issues on campus to get a clear view of their perception. Though the students are aware of sustainability, they lack involvement regarding ES issues. Students believe that achieving sustainability on campus is not only the responsibility of the authority alone. But they lack sustainability practices (e.g. recycling, water conservation and sustainable landscaping). In total, 30% of respondents do not contribute to creating a better sustainable campus. The top-down decision-making process that leads to lower citizen engagement in the design and execution of campus projects may cause the students' lack of involvement. Though university authorities implement many programs intended for achieving sustainability, it is necessary to respect the perception of the students as they are key campus stakeholders. Administrators' efforts will unavoidably be ineffective if students choose not to participate. As a result, it is unsuitable for administrators to design programs that should benefit the environment; ultimately, student conduct will determine whether a program is successful. University authorities must try to understand students' perception and act accordingly to implement sustainability plans and thus try to achieve SDGs. University authorities need to engage students more in sustainability to change their perception. The Ministry of Education should require university administrations to embrace sustainability by incorporating it into the HEI's policies and plans and set up an office or center for SD with trained staff and financial resources. Putting more emphasis on teaching and training the young people is important – who will be the nation's future leaders on how to act sustainably and think strategically, enabling them to develop and plan more sustainable communities. Universities in developed countries are very conscious about the matter. So, Bangladeshi university authorities should follow them for better implementation. This research is limited by sample size and a limited number of factors. There is also a need for research that covers a larger range of sustainability programs and best practices, as well as inclusive factors and criteria. The study only considered students' perception, but more stakeholders are available in campus sustainability programs. Besides, the role of any specialized education (engineering and medical) can be examined for its implication and importance on sustainability.

Figures

Study area

Figure 1

Study area

(a) Students' sustainability practices in campus; (b) Transportation mode choice inside campus; (c) Willingness to participate in campus environment-friendly activities; (d) Recommendations to attract students' and authorities' attraction

Figure 2

(a) Students' sustainability practices in campus; (b) Transportation mode choice inside campus; (c) Willingness to participate in campus environment-friendly activities; (d) Recommendations to attract students' and authorities' attraction

Condition of (a) waste and (b) water management system in the residential halls according to students

Study areaVery good (%)Good (%)Moderate (%)Bad (%)Very bad (%)Fisher's valuep
(a) Condition of waste management system
KUET27393201410
KU14622031
BLNU122048182
(b) Condition of the water management system
KUET16383871370
KU65923111
BLNU61448266

Source(s): Author's insight from the feedback, 2022

HEIs students' (a) awareness; (b) concern and (c) attitude toward ES

(a) HEIs students' awareness
 KUETKUBLNUTotalFisher's valuep
Awareness about ES
Aware and serious about the matter (%)28161621170
Aware and pay moderate attention (%)47593649
Neutral (%)19183222
Aware but do not pay attention (%)4645
Not aware and do not pay attention (%)11124
Awareness about recycling
Aware and serious about the matter (%)8710851
Aware and pay moderate attention (%)38322833
Neutral (%)27232024
Aware but do not pay attention (%)7131411
Not aware and do not pay attention (%)20252824
(b) HEIs students' concern toward ES
KUETKUBLNUTotalχ2p
Campus ES is only concern of authority
Strongly Agree (%)4686
Agree (%)151120157.1230.523
Neutral (%)1871012
Disagree (%)16181617
Strongly Disagree (%)47584651
(c) HEIs students' attitude towards ES
 KUETKUBLNUTotalχ2 value/p
Doing after eating a packet of chips or drinking a pack of juice
Save it until I find a dustbin (%)70.36246618.1720.068
Save it until I find clustered dusts (%)25.735.25035
Dump anywhere (%)4.12.844
Contribution to building a more environmentally friendly sustainable campus
Donation (%) 4.2849.190.327
Work voluntarily (%)18.921.13023
Follow publications related to sustainability (%)18.915.51416
Raise awareness (%)28.428.22628
Do nothing (%)33.8312230
View about the preservation of natural resources
Very Necessary (%)54.147.9404821.4220.003
Necessary (%)20.336.61425
Neutral (%)17.68.53820
Little bit Necessary (%)5.45.645
Not Necessary (%)2.71.443
Usual reaction against polluters
File formal complaints (%)5.45.618921.4150.006
Warn them personally (%)68.971.85266
No reaction at all (%)25.722.53026

Source(s): Author's calculation, 2022

Declaration of interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Supplementary material

The supplementary material for this article can be found online.

References

Abd-Razak, M.Z., Mustafa, N.K.F., Che-Ani, A.I., Abdullah, N.A.G. and Mohd-Nor, M.F.I. (2011), “Campus sustainability: student's perception on campus physical development planning in Malaysia”, Procedia Engineering, Vol. 20, pp. 230-237.

Abdullah, M., Das, S.K., Hossain, M.M. and Hoque, A.T.M.R. (2005), “Rehabilitation of pond sand filter at Khan Jahan Ali Hall of Khulna university of engineering and technology”, Port City International University Journal, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 99-106.

Abubakar, I.R., Al-Shihri, F.S. and Ahmed, S.M. (2016), “Students' assessment of campus sustainability at the university of Dammam, Saudi Arabia”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 1-14.

Akther, W. (2019), “Contribution of universities in the implementation of SDGs : perspective Bangladesh”, IOSR Journal of Business and Management, Vol. 21 No. 9, pp. 21-27, doi: 10.9790/487X-2109032127.

Alam, G.M., Al-Amin, A.Q., Forhad, A.R. and Mubarak, M.S. (2020), “Does the private university sector exploit sustainable residential life in the name of supporting the fourth industrial revolution?”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, Vol. 159 May, p. 120200.

Alkhayyal, B., Labib, W., Alsulaiman, T. and Abdelhadi, A. (2019), “Analyzing sustainability awareness among higher education faculty members: a case study in Saudi Arabia”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 11 No. 23, doi: 10.3390/su11236837.

Alsaati, T., El-Nakla, S. and El-Nakla, D. (2020), “Level of sustainability awareness among university students in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 12 No. 8, pp. 1-15.

Beringer, A. and Adomßent, M. (2008), “Sustainable university research and development: inspecting sustainability in higher education research”, Environmental Education Research, Vol. 14 No. 6, pp. 607-623.

Braßler, M. and Sprenger, S. (2021), “Fostering sustainability knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours through a tutor-supported interdisciplinary course in education for sustainable development”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 13 No. 6, doi: 10.3390/su13063494.

Brudermann, T., Aschemann, R., Füllsack, M. and Posch, A. (2019), “Education for sustainable development 4.0: lessons learned from the university of Graz, Austria”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 11 No. 8, doi: 10.3390/su11082347.

Chan, S.S., Ng, T.F., Hassan, M.S., Ying, C.K., Tan, M.L., Mohd Radzi, S.F., Abou Assi, R. and Chan, S.Y. (2022), “Integrating environmental protection and sustainable waste practices among the communities in higher education institutions: case study in a Malaysian university”, Frontiers in Environmental Science, Vol. 10, May, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2022.886060.

Chen, M.J. and Price, A.M. (2020), “Comparing undergraduate student nurses' understanding of sustainability in two countries: a mixed method study”, Nurse Education Today, Elsevier, Vol. 88, p. 104363.

Dzimińska, M., Fijalkowska, J. and Sulkowski, L. (2020), “A conceptual model proposal: universities as culture change agents for sustainable development”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 12 No. 11, doi: 10.3390/su12114635.

Emanuel, R. and Adams, J.N. (2011), “College students' perceptions of campus sustainability”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 79-92.

Filho, W.L., Dinis, M.A.P., Sivapalan, S., Begum, H., Ng, T.F., Al-Amin, A.Q., Alam, G.M., Sharifi, A., Salvia, A.L., Kalsoom, Q., Saroar, M. and Neiva, S. (2022), “Sustainability practices at higher education institutions in Asia”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 1250-1276, doi: 10.1108/IJSHE-06-2021-0244.

Fourati-jamoussi, F., Dubois, M.J.F., Chedru, M. and Belhenniche, G. (2021), “Education for sustainable development and innovation in engineering school: students' perception”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 13 No. 11, pp. 1-13.

Ghosh, S. (2011), “Participation in the green power partnership: an analysis of higher education institutions as partners in the program”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 306-321.

Griebeler, J.S., Brandli, L.L., Salvia, A.L., Filho, W.L. and Reginatto, G. (2022), “Sustainable development goals: a framework for deploying indicators for higher education institutions”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher, Vol. 23, pp. 887-914, available at: https://e-space.mmu.ac.uk/628497/ Version: Accepted Version Publisher: Emerald D”.

Hoque, A., Clarke, A. and Sultana, T. (2017), “Environmental sustainability practices in South Asian university campuses: an exploratory study on Bangladeshi universities”, Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, Vol. 19 No. 6, pp. 2163-2180.

Ishtiaque, A., Masrur, A., Rabby, Y.W., Jerin, T. and Dewan, A. (2020), “Remote sensing-based research for monitoring progress towards SDG 15 in Bangladesh: a review”, Remote Sensing, Vol. 12 No. 4, doi: 10.3390/rs12040691.

Islam, M.S. and Moniruzzaman, S.M. (2019), “Simulation of sustainable solid waste management system in Khulna city”, Sustainable Environment Research, Sustainable Environment Research, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 1-8.

Jung, Y., Park, K. and Ahn, J. (2019), “Sustainability in higher education: perceptions of social responsibility among university students”, Social Sciences, Vol. 8 No. 3, doi: 10.3390/socsci8030090.

Kanapathy, S., Lee, K.E., Sivapalan, S., Mokhtar, M., Syed Zakaria, S.Z. and Mohd Zahidi, A. (2019), “Sustainable development concept in the chemistry curriculum: an exploration of foundation students' perspective”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 2-22.

Mcmillin, J. and Dyball, R. (2009), “Developing a whole-of-university approach to educating for sustainability”, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 55-64.

Msengi, I., Doe, R., Wilson, T., Fowler, D., Wigginton, C., Olorunyomi, S., Banks, I. and Morel, R. (2019), “Assessment of knowledge and awareness of ‘sustainability’ initiatives among college students”, Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability, Vol. 4, p. 6, doi: 10.1051/rees/2019003.

Mulà, I., Tilbury, D., Ryan, A., Mader, M., Dlouhá, J., Mader, C., Benayas, J., Dlouhý, J. and Alba, D. (2017), “Catalysing change in higher education for sustainable development”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 798-820, doi: 10.1108/IJSHE-03-2017-0043.

Nejati, M. and Nejati, M. (2013), “Assessment of sustainable university factors from the perspective of university students”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Elsevier, Vol. 48, pp. 101-107.

Roy, T.K., Ekram, K.M.M. and Barua, G. (2016), “Solid waste management scenario in public university campuses of Bangladesh: a comparative study between KUET and Khulna university”, Waste Management and Resource Utilization January, pp. 993-1002.

Salequzzaman, M. and Stocker, L. (2001), “The context and prospects for environmental education and environmental careers in Bangladesh”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 104-127.

Shiel, C., Leal Filho, W., do Paço, A. and Brandli, L. (2016), “Evaluating the engagement of universities in capacity building for sustainable development in local communities”, Evaluation and Program Planning, Vol. 54, pp. 123-134.

United Nations (2016), “Transforming our world: the 2030 agenda for sustainable development”, Arsenic Research and Global Sustainability – Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Arsenic in the Environment, AS 2016, pp. 12-14.

Wang, J., Yang, M. and Maresova, P. (2020), “Sustainable development at higher education in China: a comparative study of students' perception in public and private universities”, Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 12 No. 6, doi: 10.3390/su12062158.

Wright, T.S.A. (2002), “Definitions and frameworks for environmental sustainability in higher education”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 203-220.

Yuan, X. and Zuo, J. (2013), “A critical assessment of the Higher Education for Sustainable Development from students' perspectives – a Chinese study”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Elsevier, Vol. 48, pp. 108-115.

Acknowledgements

The author(s) are very thankful to Dr. Mustafa Saroar (Professor, Khulna University of Engineering and Tech- nology) for providing useful informations and to the Reviewers for insightful comments.

Corresponding author

Md. Nazmul Haque can be contacted at: nhaque13@urp.kuet.ac.bd; nhaque.kuet13@gmail.com

Related articles