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Pro-environmental awareness of university students – assessment through sustainability literacy test

Loveth Daisy Aikowe (Department of Sustainable Technologies, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Praha, Czech Republic)
Jana Mazancova (Department of Sustainable Technologies, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Praha, Czech Republic)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 28 September 2022

Issue publication date: 3 February 2023

664

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the current knowledge and awareness of environmental and sustainable development of Nigerian students by investigating the influence of their sociodemographics.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adapts the concept of using an assessment model in a bespoke application of Sulitest® and Assessment of Student Knowledge. A total of 650 undergraduate students (in the environment, engineering and agriculture programs) were administered a paper-based questionnaire from June to July 2019.

Findings

This study determined that Nigerian students performed poorly on the sustainability literacy test (SLT). Furthermore, students majoring in agriculture exhibited higher knowledge in the social and overall topics, followed by students majoring in the environmental field. From the study findings, the authors recommend that periodic assessment using SLT measures will help higher education institutions (HEIs) identify targeted sustainability programs for the development of students and educators. Hence, HEIs in Nigeria and elsewhere should use sustainability assessment tools to promote pro-environmental awareness.

Originality/value

The SLT is one of several options to assess sustainability knowledge in HEIs. Several HEIs across the USA and Europe have been known to adopt some SLT assessment techniques to improve environmental literacy among students. However, environmental literacy has global implications; hence, this study contributes to the limited body of literature investigating the level of environmental awareness or literacy among university students from a developing country, focusing on the three main study programs (agriculture, environment and engineering).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study acknowledges the support of the Internal Grant Agency of the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences (No. 20205008, No. 20223111).

Funding: Česká Zemědělská Univerzita v Praze (IGA20205008).

Citation

Aikowe, L.D. and Mazancova, J. (2023), "Pro-environmental awareness of university students – assessment through sustainability literacy test", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 719-741. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-06-2021-0219

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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