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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Anjali Helferty and Amelia Clarke

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive list of student‐led, campus‐based climate change initiatives, and offers details on many specific cases. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive list of student‐led, campus‐based climate change initiatives, and offers details on many specific cases. The paper also documents the roles students have played and considers the larger youth engagement implications. Many of these initiatives can be replicated elsewhere, thereby providing a starting point for students wanting to begin an initiative or providing ideas for other campus stakeholders wanting to engage students in initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

Campus reports were collected by the Sierra Youth Coalition from 65 Canadian Universities and Colleges. This qualitative information was coded for student‐led climate‐related initiatives, and for the roles students played in those initiatives. The patterns were identified and clustered, and are presented in this paper.

Findings

Students were found to be successfully leading eight different types of campus climate change‐related initiatives, both with the support of other campus stakeholders and without this support. Students were also found to be able to successfully take on a variety of types of leadership roles in these initiatives. Youth engagement ranged from socialization to influence to power, depending on the type of initiative.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this research is that only 65 of the approximately 227 colleges and universities in Canada participated. Also, it is possible that some schools may not have reported all student‐led initiatives, or all the student roles. In addition, the data were limited to the 2007/2008 academic year, so is limited to the initiatives which occurred in that year.

Originality/value

This paper presents different types of student‐led climate change initiatives, the roles students have played in these initiatives, and the implications for youth engagement in creating climate change solutions. It contributes to the climate change, the campus sustainability, and the social movements literatures.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Karim Fusheini and Hussein Salia

Financing is a major obstacle to achieving quality education for all persons of school-going age in less-developed countries. Consequently, corporate institutions through…

Abstract

Purpose

Financing is a major obstacle to achieving quality education for all persons of school-going age in less-developed countries. Consequently, corporate institutions through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are increasingly becoming government partners in financing education sector projects. The effect of these CSR interventions on education funding gap, school enrollment and academic performance is yet to be adequately evaluated, hence the reason for this study.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used in-depth interviews and focus group discussions on examining the contributions of CSR initiatives to school funding, enrollment and academic performance from the viewpoint of teachers, students and heads of schools. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed, reviewed and sorted according to key and recurrent themes.

Findings

The study shows that CSR interventions have contributed to student enrollment in beneficiary schools, improved academic and core-curricular performances of students. Funding gaps in schools have also being unraveled through this study which will inform policy decisions going forward. However, the informal financiers may have other reasons unknown to the resource recipients for investing in the education sector.

Research limitations/implications

The research only considered the perspectives of teachers, students, pupils and heads of schools on the effect of CSR interventions on enrollment and performance. The views of CSR initiators (corporations), opinion leaders and other stakeholders of the schools are reserved for future research.

Practical implications

It is therefore imperative that managers of school systems are cautious in establishing exchange relationship with informal financiers as there may be other hidden reasons behind the corporate support to the beneficiary schools.

Originality/value

The addition of other stakeholders' perspective on the effect of CSR initiatives on school enrollment and students' performance is a novelty.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2018

Jaylene Murray

Over the past few decades, universities have been recognized as ideal leaders for the development of policies and innovative solutions required to support the transition…

Abstract

Purpose

Over the past few decades, universities have been recognized as ideal leaders for the development of policies and innovative solutions required to support the transition to sustainable societies. As a major stakeholder group, students play a significant role in moving this agenda forward; however, their actions remain understudied in the sustainability in higher education (SHE) literature.

Design/methodology/approach

In response, this systematic literature review was conducted to determine what research has been done on student-led action for SHE.

Findings

Findings demonstrate that while students are an understudied stakeholder group, there is a growing focus in the SHE literature on their contributions. The results suggest that students are working to increase the uptake of SHE through multi-stakeholder collaborations, collective action and interdisciplinarity. This review identifies a lack of engagement with intersectionality (interrelated environmental and social issues) and highlights the need to redirect future SHE research, calling for increased comparative research studies and research syntheses to provide greater depth to our understanding of student-led initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

This literature review is limited by the smaller sample size of articles; however, conclusions can nonetheless be drawn from these results to guide future scholarship. Implications exist for theoretical contributions to social movement theories and theories of organizational change for SHE.

Originality/value

This research provides insight into student-led action for SHE and how their efforts might better be supported to encourage the increased integration of SHE.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2013

Felita R. Figueredo and Yelena Tsarenko

The purpose of this article is to develop and test a model to explain students' willingness to participate in sustainability programs. Specifically, the authors aimed to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to develop and test a model to explain students' willingness to participate in sustainability programs. Specifically, the authors aimed to determine those factors, apart from students' environmental orientation (self‐perception of “being green”), that influence students' willingness to participate in sustainability programs.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted at one of the largest Australian universities, with 168 student respondents. A linear regression model with a bootstrapping method was applied to estimate direct and indirect effects. The model tested the indirect effects of three mediators: concern for environmental issues, educational activities, and promotion of university sustainable initiatives.

Findings

The results from the empirical study show strong support for indirect effects. While students' environmental orientation is an antecedent of their willingness to participate in sustainability programs, the strongest mediator in this process is concern for environmental issues, followed by university educational activities and university promotion of sustainable initiatives.

Originality/value

This is the first study set in an Australian University that analyses those factors affecting the students' degree of willingness to participate in university‐initiated sustainability activities. The findings from this study are of interest to the higher education sector which plays an important role in both raising environmental awareness among students, and nurturing them as environmentally responsible members of the global community. The results of this study can be used to encourage student participation in on‐campus sustainable activities which can be carried over when they graduate.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Albert Mawonde and Muchaiteyi Togo

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges faced by ODeL institutions to involve students in campus sustainable development goals (SDGs) related practices…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges faced by ODeL institutions to involve students in campus sustainable development goals (SDGs) related practices. Given that universities are mandated by several calls to participate in the implementation of SDGs, one way they can contribute to the SDGs paradigm is through the involvement of students.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through interviewing the Campus Operations Manager and the Students Representative Council (SRC) to determine the challenges of involving students’ in SDGs-related practices. The SRC completed the USAT (Part C) to determine SDGs practices students are involved in. An online survey was undertaken to determine how BSc Environmental Management students are participating in SDGs and the challenges faced towards their involvement. Thematic analysis analysed interview data and descriptive statistics analysed online survey data. Credibility and reliability were enhanced by data triangulation.

Findings

The research revealed that few students were involved in some campus SDGs-related practices. Few students were involved in off-campus SDG projects. This result is attributed to the distance between the University of South Africa (Unisa) and the students, lack of finance, the misconception around SDGs and a lack of interest in SDGs. The geographical distribution of ODeL students was concluded as the major barrier to student involvement in SDGs.

Originality/value

There are few studies, which investigated the involvement of students in campus-related SDGs in universities, let alone distance universities in Africa. The paper testifies that ODeL institutions have avenues to involve students in SDGs if such institutions become proactive through campus SDGs competitions and certification.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2011

Marena Brinkhurst, Peter Rose, Gillian Maurice and Josef Daniel Ackerman

The dynamics of organizational change related to environmental sustainability on university campuses are examined in this article. Whereas case studies of campus…

Abstract

Purpose

The dynamics of organizational change related to environmental sustainability on university campuses are examined in this article. Whereas case studies of campus sustainability efforts tend to classify leadership as either “top‐down” or “bottom‐up”, this classification neglects consideration of the leadership roles of the institutional “middle” – namely the faculty and staff.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw from research conducted on sustainability initiatives at the University of Guelph combined with a review of faculty and staff‐led initiatives at universities across Canada and the USA, as well as literature on best practices involving campus sustainability. Using concepts developed in business and leadership literature, faculty and staff are shown to be universities' equivalent to social “intrapreneurs”, i.e. those who work for social and environmental good from within large organizations.

Findings

Faculty and staff members are found to be critical leaders in efforts to achieve lasting progress towards campus sustainability, and conventional portrayals of campus sustainability initiatives often obscure this. Greater attention to the potential of faculty and staff leadership and how to effectively support their efforts is needed.

Originality/value

In the paper, a case is made for emphasizing faculty and staff leadership in campus sustainability efforts and several successful strategies for overcoming barriers are presented.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2020

Lindsay Lyons and Marc Brasof

The purpose of this paper is to understand the organizational mechanisms by which schools can increase opportunities for student leadership.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the organizational mechanisms by which schools can increase opportunities for student leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the student voice literature conducted in high schools was used to identify organizational mechanisms for enhancing student leadership.

Findings

Five leadership-fostering organizational mechanisms were identified: consistency, research, group makeup, governance structure and recognition.

Originality/value

This paper examines the existing body of student voice research to identify organizational mechanisms for fostering student leadership in schools. Researchers can use this to operationalize student leadership mechanisms and study their impact. Practitioners can implement these mechanisms in schools to support youth leadership development.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 58 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 June 2020

Louisa Remedios, Jessica Lees, Carolyn Cracknell, Victoria Burns, Manuel Perez-Jimenez, Alejandro Banegas-Lagos, Susanne Brokop and Gillian Webb

The importance of knowledge regarding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is universally recognized, but less commonly actualized in health…

Abstract

The importance of knowledge regarding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is universally recognized, but less commonly actualized in health professional curricula. This chapter examines how SDG awareness has been embedded into curricula and extra-curricula activity in four different University settings: The University of Melbourne (Australia); Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico); Lund University (Sweden); and the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). It is informed by the work of academics representing single health disciplines from the four universities. All academics are actively involved with the Universitas 21 Health Science Group (U21HSG) SDG strategic group. The chapter will outline shared and unique projects that are directed at increasing students awareness for targeted action to achieve the global goals.

With a crowded curriculum, lack of SDG expertise and a belief that health professional learning should focus on a single goal (Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), there are significant challenges to growing SDG relevant knowledge and skills within existing programs. We provide examples of how these challenges were met, such as through the development of SDG learning outcomes to fit within a physiotherapy curriculum renewal and the running and management of service learning refugee clinics by medical students. We will briefly examine our key learning and make recommendations on providing SDG relevant learning opportunities for students. The chapter will provoke and challenge the reader to consider how they are addressing the sustainability goals and how they can overcome perceived barriers to educating students for a sustainable world.

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2018

Camille Ouellet Dallaire, Kate Trincsi, Melissa K. Ward, Lorna I. Harris, Larissa Jarvis, Rachel L. Dryden and Graham K. MacDonald

This paper reflects on the Sustainability Research Symposium (SRS), a long-term student-led initiative (seven years) at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, that seeks…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper reflects on the Sustainability Research Symposium (SRS), a long-term student-led initiative (seven years) at McGill University in Montréal, Canada, that seeks to foster interdisciplinary dialogue among students and researchers by using the sustainability sciences as a bridge concept. The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of the SRS in fostering sustainability literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Past participants of the SRS were invited to complete a survey to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the symposia from a participants’ perspective. A mix of descriptive statistics and axial and thematic coding were used to analyze survey responses (n = 56). This study links theory and practice to explore the outcomes of symposia as tools for students to engage with sustainability research in university campuses.

Findings

Survey findings indicated that participants are from multiple disciplinary backgrounds and that they are often interested in sustainability research without being identified as sustainability researchers. Overall, the survey findings suggested that student-organized symposia can be effective mechanisms to enhance exposure to interdisciplinary research and to integrate sustainability sciences outside the classroom.

Practical implications

Despite being a one-day event, the survey findings suggest that symposia can offer an “initiation” toward interdisciplinary dialogue and around sustainability research that can have lasting impacts beyond the time frame of the event.

Originality/value

Although research symposia are widespread in university campuses, there is little published information on the effectiveness of student-organized symposia as vectors for sustainability literacy. This original contribution presents a case study of the effectiveness of an annual symposium at one Canadian university, organized by students from the Faculties of Science, Arts and Management.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2007

Anthony H. Normore, Louie Rodriguez and Joan Wynne

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then come, let's work together”. These words of…

Abstract

Purpose

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then come, let's work together”. These words of Lill Watson, an indigenous activist, frame the context for this article. The purpose of this research was to examine the historical evolution of “grassroots movement leadership” model and its incarnation in the present time. A corollary purpose focused on how this model can transform urban schools by focusing on “movement” efforts of one large urban school district that espouses the values of this form of leadership. As part of a larger reform effort, the district engaged students, parents, teachers, school leaders and communities in becoming equal partners in urban school reform in an effort to co‐create schools and communities that might lead all of us toward liberation and learning.

Design/methodology/approach

Theory and practice come together through the lens of three researchers who operate from a similar philosophical stance for educational transformation, best described in the words of grassroots leader Ella Baker, who said, “We are the people we have been waiting for”. Qualitative research procedures (i.e. interviews, field notes and observations) were used to generate data on a “movement model” for grassroots leadership. This model is best demonstrated in various youth‐oriented initiatives (i.e. Student Exhibits, Action‐Research Projects, Algebra Project) within a local urban school district. This model, influenced by Civil Rights legend Robert Moses, has implications for educational leadership and urban school reform and simultaneously grounds our scholarship and research in liberation epistemology.

Findings

It is argued that children are often the victims of ideas, structures, and actions that come to be seen by the majority of people as wholly natural, preordained, and working for their own good, when in fact they are constructed and transmitted by powerful minority interests to protect the status quo that serves those interest. The words of Ella Baker epitomize the authors' struggles to steer away from models of hierarchal leadership in education and stay connected to the practice of excavating community wisdom through the “Movement Model”.

Originality/value

This study bears a substantive argument for community leadership efforts that focus on “grassroots leadership”. It further fosters new insights and propositions for future research in the form of a “Movement Leadership Model”.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 45 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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