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Identifying sustainability drivers in higher education through fuzzy AHP

Anchal Arora (Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, Ludhiana, India)
Jinesh Jain (Commerce and Management, Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana, India)
Sanjay Gupta (Commerce and Management, Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana, India)
Ajay Sharma (Commerce and Management, Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana, India)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Article publication date: 19 November 2020

Abstract

Purpose

In today's competitive environment, sustainability is talked out in every sphere of life. Sustainability is a key to stability and for that roots are being focused by incorporating sustainability in higher education. The basic purpose of this paper is to prioritize the sustainability drivers in the higher education system. This research will provide fruitful insight into the sustainability drivers in the higher education system to the education industry and policymakers.

Design/methodology/approach

The present research is conducted on the 400 students studying in four major universities in the state of Punjab. Fuzzy analytical hierarchy process was applied to prioritize the sustainability drivers in the higher education system. The primary factors considered for the present study include social-people (social responsibility), environmental-planet (sustainable environmental practices) and financial-profit (economic value created).

Findings

The most influential criteria were environmental-planet (sustainable environmental practices) and social-people (social responsibility). The five most influential subcriteria were “Student engagement in eco co-curricular activities (C21)”, Energy efficiency measures (C23)”, “The HEI as a job driver in the city (C11)”, “Total direct energy consumption (C31)” and “Support from the HEI for local initiatives and help in growing the sustainability of the community or region (C12)”.

Research limitations/implications

Although the sample survey conducted in this study was focused on a small sample selected from the state of Punjab which genuinely represented the total population, it is still considered as a limitation for the present study.

Practical implications

The outcome of this research provides policymakers with a better understanding of the sustainability drivers in higher education. This will further help them toward achieving the aim of sustainability.

Originality/value

The present research is based on the available literature on sustainability and the results of the study would add value to the existing knowledge base.

Keywords

Citation

Arora, A., Jain, J., Gupta, S. and Sharma, A. (2020), "Identifying sustainability drivers in higher education through fuzzy AHP", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-03-2020-0051

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited