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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Semen Son-Turan and Wim Lambrechts

The purpose of this paper is to explain the extent and content of the sustainability disclosure of public and foundation (private but not-for-profit) universities in Turkey.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the extent and content of the sustainability disclosure of public and foundation (private but not-for-profit) universities in Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

Subsequent to a systematic literature review of six academic databases and the National Thesis Center, a content analysis using a combination of Global Reporting Initiative and campus assessment tools from previous studies is conducted on stand-alone sustainability reports and websites of a purposive sample of eight universities in Turkey.

Findings

Infrequent and unsystematic sustainability practice done through websites seems to be more prevalent than formal reporting through international initiatives. Research and practice diverge by focusing on different sustainability indicators. Sustainability needs to be integrated into teaching and curriculum through university policies and regulations. Foundation universities show greater effort in sustainability reporting than public universities.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by the availability of mostly self-reported, dispersed and unaudited data by foundation universities in addition to framework-imposed specificities. Furthermore, there is only one public university with a formal sustainability report in the sample.

Practical implications

The findings offer suggestions for developing extra sustainability indicators and may assist local policy-makers and researchers in their efforts to improve sustainability reporting by local universities.

Originality/value

This comprehensive research effort is one of the few studies from a non-Western country perspective and the only study on Turkey in relation to universities and sustainability reporting.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2020

Semen Son-Turan

The purpose of this paper is to develop a higher education funding and employment system that obviates barriers to sustainable development and helps engrain the notion of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a higher education funding and employment system that obviates barriers to sustainable development and helps engrain the notion of sustainability into the institutional framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The “Higher Education Sustainability First System” (HESFS) is a conceptual model that builds upon ideas from previous literature. Its theoretical basis draws on a joint value creation framework from the stakeholder theory and business model perspectives.

Findings

A holistic three-pillar approach that offers multiple value propositions is needed to engage the stakeholders to collaborate for the coherent functioning of the HESFS. This will enable the establishment of a viable innovative financial model and the institution of a sustainability-focused student employment program that are facilitated by a robust sustainable infrastructure. Several sustainable development goals may be furthered in the process.

Research limitations/implications

The applicability of a part or entire HESFS depends on the characteristics of the higher education institution and the level of its maturity in a sustainable development process. Although its different constituents have been empirically validated in literature, the HESFS model could be applied in a case study to determine its potential feasibility.

Practical implications

The HESFS may inspire policymakers, businesses and higher education institutions to forge alliances to devise innovative resources of funding and engage in employment partnerships that can lead to progress in sustainable development. It may particularly be useful for institutions in developing and less developed countries, where inequality and high youth unemployment rates prevail.

Originality/value

By focusing on an under-researched topic through a multitheoretical perspective, this study contributes to theories pertaining to stakeholder engagement and business models.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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