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An overview of campus greening initiatives at universities in Romania

Mihaela Sima (Institute of Geography, Bucharest, Romania)
Ines Grigorescu (Institute of Geography, Bucharest, Romania)
Dan Bălteanu (Institute of Geography, Bucharest, Romania)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 8 May 2019

Issue publication date: 10 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify campus greening initiatives on a sample of universities in Romania reflected in the university curricula, the behavioral patterns of students and teachers, the administrative actions that carry out empirical investigation of students/teachers/management staff perception on campus greening (based on self-administered questionnaires); detect the way campus greening initiatives are promoted/made visible; and identify the gaps and needs of the universities under scrutiny in terms of campus greening initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research relies on two major components reviewing campus greening-related activities and initiatives, as reflected in the scientific literature and university curricula (empirical and quantitative assessment) and inquiring selected universities’ about the campus greening programs they unfold through questionnaire surveys (qualitative assessment).

Findings

Generally, sustainability topics (e.g. environmental protection, waste management and sustainable development) are largely addressed and, to some extent, applied in faculties dealing with earth sciences (e.g. geography, ecology) and technical sciences (e.g. environmental engineering). This can be explained by the traditional theoretical background of the first, and the experimental-oriented profile of the latter, which supports the development of innovative technologies (green technologies). However, there is a need to better undertake and promote greening initiatives for most of the higher education institutions in Romania. Some spatial (between institutions throughout Romania) and structural (according to the profile of the institutions) disparities are visible.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the study might be the small number of universities providing a positive feedback to the questionnaire survey and the degree of subjectivity of some of the answers, directly linked with the professional background and issue awareness of the persons who answered the questions.

Practical implications

The findings can be useful to the university managers to better orient their actions toward campus greening, increasing their knowledge and awareness toward sustainability-related actions.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt reporting in the literature to analyze the campus greening initiatives to a large number of universities in Romania based on a common approach, identifying the main gaps and challenges in this process.

Keywords

Citation

Sima, M., Grigorescu, I. and Bălteanu, D. (2019), "An overview of campus greening initiatives at universities in Romania", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 410-422. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-01-2019-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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