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ESD professional development of university educators in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia: A comparative analysis

Vesna Nikolic (Faculty of Occupational Safety, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia)
Slobodan Milutinovic (Faculty of Occupational Safety, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia)
Pece Nedanovski (Faculty of Economics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Skopje, Macedonia)
Kornelija Mrnjaus (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 4 September 2017

387

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to deal with the education for sustainable development (ESD) competences of university educators. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comparative analysis of opportunities for the development of ESD competences in higher education (HE) institutions in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia. In addition, the paper explores the drivers and barriers experienced in this area using a process-oriented approach.

Design/methodology/approach

For the purpose of collecting data, internet and desktop research was carried out, which was then followed by interviews with key respondents and experts in HE. The interviews were carried out face-to-face or via telephone. In addition, information collected from the interviews was compared with both data found in the literature and official documents.

Findings

The comparative analysis indicated how specific institutional and cultural contexts affect the development of ESD competences in HE in the region. There were differences but also common opportunities for developing the ESD competences of university educators in the countries analysed. For each country, the drivers and barriers, as well as their relevance, were manifested differently and specific key constructs were identified to explain the implementation process for developing ESD competences of university educators.

Practical implications

This paper tried to respond to this diversity of perspectives, contexts and initiatives and attempted to extract the benefits of different approaches to the ESD professional development of university educators in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia. It is hoped that this paper will provide valuable insights into the development of ESD in HE and support the development of ESD competences in the region.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers that provide a comparative analysis of the ESD professional development of university educators in Balkan countries. The value of the paper lies in its potential to help us to understand the role that different drivers and barriers play in different patterns of implementation for developing the ESD competences of university educators.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia through Mathematical Institute of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Pr. 44006). Research is part of the project titled “University Educators for Sustainable Development” (UE4SD), under the Lifelong Learning Programme – Erasmus Academic Networks.

Citation

Nikolic, V., Milutinovic, S., Nedanovski, P. and Mrnjaus, K. (2017), "ESD professional development of university educators in Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia: A comparative analysis", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 923-938. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-02-2016-0036

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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