A pilot study on education for sustainable development in the Romanian economic higher education

Isabel Novo-Corti (Economic Development and Social Sustainability Research Group (EDaSS), Department of Economic Analysis and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business, Universidade da Coruna, A Coruna, Spain)
Liana Badea (Department of Economic Doctrines and Communication, Faculty of Theoretical and Applied Economics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania)
Diana Mihaela Tirca (Department of Management and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics, “Constantin Brâncuși” University of Târgu-Jiu, Targu Jiu, Romania)
Mirela Ionela Aceleanu (Department of Economics and Economic Policies, Faculty of Theoretical and Applied Economics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Publication date: 8 May 2018

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to emphasize how economics courses offered at higher education institutions can influence sustainable development, in general, and Romania’s sustainable development, in particular.

Design/methodology/approach

The conclusions are based on a pilot questionnaire conducted by the authors on the level of Romanian students enrolled in public and private economic faculties. The results were based on a sample of 1,250 respondents – students, master and PhD – from the economic faculties of some prestigious Romanian universities. To identify differences between some groups, t-test analysis and ANOVA were conducted.

Findings

Education is an important pillar for ensuring sustainable development because through education, people understand and learn how to become more responsible toward the environment. Studies conducted in the twenty-first century are showing a direct link between the investment in education and economic, social and human development. The present study revealed that the economic higher education system in Romania has started with small steps to adapt to the environmental requirements. Unfortunately, the efforts still required to be made are significant, since it is observed that all undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD require a change of attitude and mentality. Romanian public universities are more involved than private universities in the implementation of programs, projects, debates and courses on sustainable development and students’ reactions are positive.

Originality/value

This paper provides useful insights, allowing a better understanding of the role of universities in fostering sustainable development. This research is useful to find solutions for developing education for sustainable development in Romania and it can be a starting point for ESD programs and policies.

Keywords

Citation

Novo-Corti, I., Badea, L., Tirca, D. and Aceleanu, M. (2018), "A pilot study on education for sustainable development in the Romanian economic higher education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 817-838. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-05-2017-0057

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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