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Indicators of Sustainable Development in Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study of Concordia University


Indicators of Sustainable Development in Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study of Concordia University

Kielback, D.J. (2015) Indicators of Sustainable Development in Higher Education Institutions: A Case Study of Concordia University. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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KIELBACK_MSc_S2015.pdf - Accepted Version


The concept of “sustainability” is at the forefront of many research concerns and is at an increasing rate being incorporated into the activities of post-secondary institutions. Sustainability has become such an important issue that it has become part of the “marketing” of an institution. Sustainability self-assessment tools have been developed to guide sustainable developments and allow institutions to display their performances across a range of sustainability measures. Given the growing use of these indices among institutions of higher education, this thesis investigates to what extent “sustainability” practices are adopted in a university-wide setting, and how conscious university administrators are that such practices may translate into higher enrolments; or, serve to attract those prospective students seeking a more “green” learning environment.
Using Concordia University as an example, this case study asks a sample of university administrators how sustainability in higher education impacts the university’s reputation, prestige, and rank, and then examines how Concordia University plans to pursue sustainable development. The research reported here shows that about 54% of Concordia’s research centres and 61% of Senate-recognized centres have a sustainable research focus. Interestingly, all of Concordia’s “sustainability-centric” research centres have been developed since 2009. From 2012 to 2014, 80% of the main advertisement campaign focused on sustainable research developments. In terms of the future, results of this research show that the university is mapping its student activities and sustainable assets for more effective developments, while continuing to improve its position in its sustainability self-assessment, and its attempt to create a sustainable minded culture. It is clear from this research, the thesis concludes, that Concordia University definitely believes investing in its sustainability will empower its mission and vision, and is pursuing it through unique ways.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Kielback, D.J.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:9 April 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nash, A.E.
Keywords:Sustainability, Education in Sustainable Development, Sustainability in Higher Education, Ranking, Rating, Prestige, Reputation, Branding, Knowledge Economy, Green Economy, Social Economy, Concordia University.
ID Code:979829
Deposited On:13 Jul 2015 16:20
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:50


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