In this series of four articles written by Sorina Antonescu for the Social Economy in Higher Education project, the concept of sustainability in relation to higher education institutions is discussed.
In the first article, she starts by discussing the notion of sustainability and sustainable development (SD) from a historical perspective and then break it down into more specific information; in the second half of the article she narrows the area of SD further to HEIs and provides a number of reasons as to why they are such an optimal starting point for imbuing a sustainable ethos in their curricula, operations, outreach and research.
In the second article, she outlines and develops on the number of setbacks that universities face in institutionalising sustainability into the aforementioned areas both from the perspective of finance, resources, and the prevalent conservative nature of HEIs in maintaining a traditional modularity and specialisation of subjects that somehow clashes with the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability.
In the third article, she outlines the advantages that HEIs have relative to other institutions in society to take the lead and take the first step towards creating a sustainable mindset that is then mirrored in universities' policies and practices and explains why they are able to do that.
And in the fourth article, she outlines a number of successful attempts based on various case studies and attempts to identify the key factors that would enable HEIs to implement sustainability into their curricula, operations, research and outreach.
Sorina Antonescu is a graduate in English Language and Linguistics from the University of York, with a pervasive and sustained, long-term interest in areas of sustainability and sustainable development, particularly in the context of Higher Education Institutions. Sorina currently works as an independent researcher for the Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientists and Engineers (NESSE) where she studies the incorporation of sustainability into science and engineering curricula in UK universities. Sorina is also a former intern at Envirocrew CIC and a past contributing writer for Chemistry Review and NOUSE.