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Correlation between sustainability education and engineering students’ attitudes towards sustainability

Kuok Ho Daniel Tang (Department of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Curtin University Malaysia, Miri, Malaysia)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 14 February 2018

Issue publication date: 23 February 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the impacts of a sustainable development course on the beliefs, attitudes and intentions of a cohort of engineering students in a university in Miri, Malaysia, towards sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire survey was conducted among the cohort of students encompassing the three facets mentioned.

Findings

The respondents expressed low to medium agreement towards all the survey items related to beliefs, attitudes and intentions. A sense of moral obligation towards sustainability is linked to higher sustainability awareness, willingness to safeguard sustainability and a sense of responsibility towards sustainable development. The respondents were generally perceived to have fundamental knowledge of sustainable development.

Research limitations/implications

This study shows that a sustainable development course called Engineering Sustainable Development offered in a university in Miri, produced positive impacts on the beliefs, attitudes and intentions of the engineering students towards sustainable development. Sustainable development courses are generally instrumental to impart the value and practices of sustainability among university students.

Originality/value

As limited correlational studies on whether sustainable development courses effectively shape the beliefs and attitudes of students have been previously conducted, this study provides insight into the effectiveness of one of such courses and how the course can be further improved to enhance its effectiveness.

Keywords

Citation

Tang, K.H.D. (2018), "Correlation between sustainability education and engineering students’ attitudes towards sustainability", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 459-472. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-08-2017-0139

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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