Learning for and about sustainability in higher education – a regional perspective
based on experiences from the Baltic and the Mediterranean

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Michael Scoullos, Vicky Malotidi, Paula Lindroos, Sinikka Suomalainen
Publisher: Emerald
Place: UK
Publication year: 2017
Journal: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Journal acronym: IJSHE
Volume number: 18
Issue number: 6
Start page: 877
End page: 893


Purpose–The purpose of the paper is to present and compare collective efforts of higher educationinstitutions working through regional networks in introducing and promoting education for sustainabledevelopment (ESD) and environmental education (EE) in two most significant EU boarder regions. Efforts tosupport EE/ESD in higher education are usually undertaken at individual universities and, in some cases, atnational level, still remaining very fragmented; therefore, the examples of University networks in the Balticand the Mediterranean regions are of particular interest and importance. Both regions have regionalconventions, protocols and strategies for the relevant seas, bringing EU and neighbouring countries of theregions together for the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development (SD)within which EE and ESD are embedded.Design/methodology/approach–This paper presents the driving forces for the establishment,evolution and design of relevant activities of these two networks, making also a few inter-comparisons andrecommendations for further improvements.Findings–Both regions, the Baltic and the Mediterranean, have multiple needs and high potential for moreefficient linking of SD with higher education. Early enough it was realised that regional networking couldstimulate countries and universities towards this task. Two networks were set up: the Baltic UniversityProgramme (starting already in 1991) and the Mediterranean Universities Network for SD focusing on ESD(starting in 2007). The paper reviews main activities of the networks together with lessons learned and givesdirections for their future operations.Originality/value–This paper is one of the rare case studies related to higher education networking onESD and demonstrates how networking on ESD, apart from enhancing professional development, supportsalso SD and promotes cooperation and peace in regions that have a history of frequently turbulentrelationships.KeywordsSustainable development, Competence development, Baltic University Programme,MedUnNET, Regional/international cooperation


Education for Sustainable Development, interregional cooperation, Sustainable development

Last updated on 2020-03-07 at 04:50