Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, asserts that education is one of the most effective instruments that society can employ in the effort to adopt sustainable development. This paper is a first effort to explore the degree to which Canadian institutions of higher education, including colleges and universities, have embraced this assertion. It includes the first census
of the existing environment/sustainability policies and/or plans of Canadian postsecondary institutions (n = 220), and an examination of the relationships between the existence of an environment/sustainability policy/plan and the presence of other sustainability initiatives on campus. The focus on policies and plans is timely because in public institutions like colleges and universities, actions and practices are determined by policy. The results reveal a number of patterns and insights, including, for example, the influence of provincial legislation on the uptake of policies.
On a typical day in 2014, more than 22 million cyberattacks threatened to infiltrate Penn State. Two
attacks targeting the university’s College of Engineering managed to slip past security systems. Thanks to an alert from the FBI, the university investigated the attacks and disconnected the college’s computer network from the Internet for three days while it beefed up security.
In K-12, school districts are constantly launching digital learning initiatives that require large amounts of bandwidth and mobile devices. But many of them don’t address the IT infrastructure beforehand. And that leads to horror stories of the network
slowing to a crawl with students and teachers unable to connect their devices to the Internet due to lack of wireless coverage.
“Infrastructure is one of those things that is not sexy and is not glamorous,” says Susan M. Bearden, director of information technology at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Fla. “I mean, who really wants to hear about switches or bandwidth or choke points in a network? But if you don’t have that infrastructure in place, then you are setting yourself up for failure.”
Unfortunately, education institutions don’t always recognize the tenuous situation they’re in until they fall prey to successful cyberattacks and show-stopping network failures. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
This Center for Digital Education (CDE) Special Report guides education IT leaders through the trends, technologies and tips that will help them build a future-ready infrastructure to carry their institutions through the challenges of life
in the digital age.
The Canadian College and University Environmental Network (CCUEN-RCCUE) is an organization established to bring together environmental educators at universities, colleges, CEGEPs, technical institutes, and similar organizations that offer educational programs in any environmental field.
Since the initial meetings of college and university educators in 2002 and 2003 the Canadian College and University Environmental Network (CCUEN) - Réseau Canadien des Collèges et des Universités en Environnement (RCCUE) has aspired to become the primary voice of Canadian college and university environmental educators. One of the core activities is the annual CCUEN1 conference. This conference brings together researchers, employers and educators, students and related associations together to explore a range of issues and challenges for environmental educators.
Climate change is a pressing concern. Higher education can address the challenge, but systematic analyses of climate change in education policy are sparse. This paper addresses this gap in the literature by reporting on how Canadian postsecondary educational institutions have engaged with climate change through policy actions. We used descriptive quantitative methods to
analyze climate change-specific policies from a representative sample of 50 institutions across Canada and found that nearly half had some form of climate policy. Existing policies were then qualitatively analyzed. We found that the most common form of response focused on the built campus environment, with underdeveloped secondary responses focused on research, curriculum, community outreach, and governance policies. We consider the motivations for such institutional action and end with implications for policy makers and future research.
This sixth annual Going Greener report demonstrates those results through campus case studies about food sustainability, conservation efforts, and partnerships that are building a greener community. The report details how university communities are becoming more sustainable in their operations and policies, developing academic programming that seeks to create knowledge leaders in emerging fields, and broadening their understanding of environmental issues so that partners can work together to develop solutions to one of society’s most pressing problems.
In June 2016, the Ontario government launched its five-year Climate Change Action Plan, which builds on a bold strategy to reduce the province’s green-house gas (GHG) emissions by 15 per cent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. Universities are stepping up to the challenge by demonstrating leadership, reinforcing their role in helping meet these targets, and supporting campus-based initiatives to spark broader action.
Higher education institutions are hubs of research and intellectual activity, employing experienced scholars and
schooling the future workforce. As such, they are also often the instigators of positive changes or shifts in the outside world around them. As climate change and pollution have become a reality and a threat to our nation’s future prosperity, higher education institutions have been proponents of green initiatives, often leading the way in environmental construction, practice and purchases.
In addition to protecting the environment, green practices can go a long way in helping schools operate more efficiently and cost-effectively — measures that are desperately needed during tight fiscal times. This paper will look at some of the green trends happening in higher education today as well as the practices — including strategically purchasing technology
— that colleges and universities can employ to lower costs, become more sustainable and help the environment.
Being Green in Hard Times
The recession and its attendant effects on the budgets of higher education institutions has understandably deterred
initiatives and projects proposed during flush economic times. However, green initiatives continue to be important in higher education — spurred on by backing from the federal government. President Obama has made clear his priorities of addressing climate change — in part by reducing greenhouse gases — and lowering energy consumption.
Colleges and universities are stepping up to the plate. The higher education sector is now the largest purchaser of wind energy in the U.S. and 500 schools have institution-wide sustainability or environmental committees. In addition, 300 campuses have conducted campus sustainability assessments, with hundreds more working to implement assessments.
Higher education leaders are demonstrating their dedication to environmentally sound practices and serving as an example to the private sector and the general public. The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is a network of over 650 college leaders who are working to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations and to promote research and education efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the Earth’s climate.
Community colleges are also working to be more sustainable despite difficult financial times. Results from the Center
for Digital Education’s 2010 Digital Community Colleges Survey showed that higher education institutions are continuing myriad efforts to put sustainable practices in place.
According to the survey:
• 54 percent of responding colleges have instruments to
measure energy efficiencies;
• 60 percent use e-waste recycling efforts and Earth-friendly
• 27 percent of responding community colleges are pursuing transparency about their carbon footprint — a 16 percent increase since last year.
This report reflects the enthusiasm and commitment of students, staff and faculty in realizing the vision of environmental sustainability on Ontario’s university campuses.
The report is based on an annual survey of 20 Ontario universities conducted by the Council
of Ontario Universities (COU).
The signatory institutions to this protocol agree to maximize their contribution to a sustainable future and are committed to their role as leaders to their internal and external communities.
In the context of this protocol, sustainability is institutionally defined and may include environmental, economic and social dimensions.
March 6, 2014, Toronto350, the University of Toronto chapter of the larger 350.org movement, presented the Office of the President with a petition requesting that the Uni- versity of Toronto fully divest from direct investments1 in fossil fuels companies within the next five years and to stop investing new money in the industry [the “Petition”].2 In response to this petition, President Gertler struck an ad hoc Advisory Committee on Divestment from Fossil Fuels [the “Committee”] under the terms of the University’s Policy on Social and Political Issues With Respect to University Divestment [the “Policy”]. The Committee’s mandate was to review the Petition and accompanying brief, and consider the University’s response to the call
for divestment. The Committee was also invited to reflect more generally on the University’s role in responding to the challenges posed by climate change.
Abstract This study investigates the degree to which biodiversity concepts are included within university curricula in Ontario and provides a baseline for tracking this. A keyword search of undergraduate and graduate academic calendars from six Ontario universities was conducted. A list of 28 relevant keywords was developed, and university program descriptors were searched for these keywords, while considering core and elective courses within each program. Almost half (49.5%) of the 386 undergraduate programs, and 29.4% of the 327 graduate programs featured biodiversity keywords. Science programs showed the highest degree of integration (74.5% for undergraduate and 37.4% for graduate programs), followed by business programs (57.6% and 38.4%, respectively). The arts and social sciences showed the least biodiversity integration (25.8% of undergraduate and 21.0% of graduate programs). This research method provides a depth of understanding of biodiversity integration within university curricula, although the analysis is limited to the content provided in academic calendars.
Résumé Cette étude évalue le degré d’intégration des concepts de la biodiversité dans les programmes universitaires en Ontario, et établit des repères pour suivre cette intégration. Une recherche par mots-clés a été réalisée dans les calendriers des cours de premier cycle et de cycles supérieurs de six universités ontariennes. Nous avons dressé une liste de 28 mots-clés pertinents, puis avons effectué une recherche de ces mots-clés parmi les descripteurs de programmes universitaires, en englobant les cours obligatoires et facultatifs de chaque programme. Près de la moitié (49,5 %) des 386 programmes de premier cycle et 29,4 % des 327 programmes de cycles supérieurs étaient assortis de mots-clés liés à la biodiversité. Parmi tous les programmes, les programmes scientifiques ont démontré le degré d’intégration le plus élevé (74,5 % pour le premier cycle et 37,4 % pour les cycles supérieurs), suivis des programmes en commerce (57,6 % pour le premier cycle et 38,4 %, pour les cycles supérieurs). Par ailleurs, les arts et les sciences sociales ont démontré la plus faible intégration de la biodiversité (25,8 % pour le premier cycle et 21,0 % pour les cycles supérieurs). Cette méthode de recherche permet de mieux comprendre l’intégration de la biodiversité dans les programmes universitaires, même si l’analyse se limite au contenu indiqué dans les calendriers des cours.
Welcome to our ﬁ rst issue of IQ – McMaster’s research newsmagazine. We’re excited to share a few research highlights and tell you about some of the country’s most dynamic, creative and innovative research that’s happening right here in your community.
In this issue, our focus is on clean technologies – whether they are related to water, automotive or solar research. Our researchers are doing their part to develop the technologies and innovations that will lead to a greener and cleaner Canada for future generations. They are indeed on an Innovation Quest to see that this happens.
I hope you enjoy the ﬁ rst issue and I welcome your comments on what you’ve read here and what you’d like to see in future issues.
Launched in 2005, the SFD program enabled university students to enrich their learning experience and contribute to international development, while strengthening links between institutions in Canada and overseas. SFD interns not only grew personally and professionally, they also contributed to the key development challenges of improving the lives of children and youth, ensuring food security and strengthening sustainable economies.
Purpose – This paper reports on a census of high-level sustainability initiatives at all accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada by documenting the institutions that have undertaken sustainability assessments, have signed one or more sustainability declarations, have sustainability offices or officers, or have sustainability policies. Our aim was to better understand the broad-scale patterns of commitments by post-secondary institutions to these sustainability initiatives by exploring the interrelationships among them, and with geographic and institutional characteristics.
Keywords Sustainable development, Higher education, Learning
Abstract It is higher education’s responsibility to continuously challenge and critique value and knowledge claims that have prescriptive tendencies. Part of this responsibility lies in engaging students in socio-scientific disputes. The ill-defined nature of sustainability manifests itself in such disputes when conflicting values, norms, interests, and reality constructions meet. This makes sustainability – its need for contextualization and the debate surrounding it – pivotal for higher education. It offers an opportunity for reflection on the mission of our universities and colleges, but also a chance to enhance the quality of the learning process. This paper explores both the overarching goals and process of higher education from an emancipatory view and with regard to sustainability.
Psychological theory and research can make key contributions to sustainability scholarship and practice, as is demonstrated here in the fi eld of higher education pedagogy. College students undergo profound changes in epistemological assumptions and in identity during their undergraduate years. Data on the Measure of Intellectual Development for students participating in learner-centred pedagogies at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, showed a trend toward more complex thinking by these students (N=153). Qualitative data on student identity development associated with transdisciplinary, project-based campus sustainability courses were collected at Canadaâ€™s University of Prince Edward Island and at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Findings revealed the identity of â€œlearnerâ€ blending with that of â€œchange agentâ€; a greater sense of identity in relation to the campus community and the different perspectives of its stakeholders, the sustainability movement; and a sense of empowerment backed up by practical skills. Sustainability poses new challenges for intellectual-moral development and identity development. Psychological theory gives insights into how pedagogies should be designed to challenge students just beyond their level of intellectual, moral, and identity development, in order to expose them to intellectual-moral growth and identity alternatives conducive to the complexities of sustainability advocacy and practice.
Les thÃ©ories psychologiques ainsi que la recherche peuvent apporter dâ€™importantes contributions clÃ©s Ã la recherche et Ã la pratique de la durabilitÃ©, comme cette Ã©tude le dÃ©montre dans le domaine de la pÃ©dagogie dans lâ€™Ã©ducation
supÃ©rieure. Les Ã©tudiants collÃ©giaux subissent de profonds changements en terme de rÃ©fl exion Ã©pistÃ©mologique et dâ€™identitÃ© lors de leurs annÃ©es dâ€™Ã©tudes au premier cycle. Nous prÃ©sentons dâ€™abord des donnÃ©es se rapportant Ã la Mesure du DÃ©veloppement Intellectuel (Measure of Intellectual Development) pour des Ã©tudiants de Western Washington University Ã Bellingham dans lâ€™Ã©tat de Washington aux Etats-Unis qui ont participÃ© Ã des pÃ©dagogies centrÃ©es sur lâ€™apprenant ; les rÃ©sultats dÃ©montrent une tendance Ã une pensÃ©e plus complexe chez ces Ã©tudiants (N=154). Ensuite, nous analysons des donnÃ©es qualitatives sur le dÃ©veloppement de lâ€™identitÃ© des Ã©tudiants de lâ€™UniversitÃ© de lâ€™ÃŽle-du-Prince-Ã‰douard au Canada et des Ã©tudiants de Western Washington University aux Ã‰tats-Unis qui ont assistÃ© Ã des cours sur la durabilitÃ© sous forme de projets transdisciplinaires appliquÃ©s au campus universitaire ; les rÃ©sultats rÃ©vÃ¨lent la superposition de lâ€™identitÃ© de Â« lâ€™apprenant Â» et de celle dâ€™ Â«agent
de changement Â», mais aussi un sentiment identitaire plus fort envers la vie de campus et les diffÃ©rentes perspectives de ses partenaires, le mouvement de la durabilitÃ©, et enfi n un sentiment de confi ance consolidÃ© par un savoir-faire pratique. Les thÃ©ories psychologiques Ã©clairent la maniÃ¨re dont les nouvelles pÃ©dagogies devraient Ãªtre conÃ§ues afi n de stimuler les Ã©tudiants juste au-delÃ de leur niveau de dÃ©veloppement intellectuel, moral et identitaire, pour les exposer Ã des alternatives identitaires, et soutenir leur engagement envers des identitÃ©s dâ€™un genre nouveau en matiÃ¨re de durabilitÃ©.
The 2015 Sustainable Campus Index highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas, as measured by STARS. Data submitted by top performers has been reviewed by AASHE staff to ensure that content meets credit criteria (see page 51 for a detailed methodology). The report also includes trends and best practices from over 50 institutions that submitted STARS reports in the last 12 months (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015).
Abstract The challenge of teaching sustainable development in higher education can mean that students—as future citizens—are left without insight, commitment, or a sense of their position regarding meaningful beliefs and actions related to sustainability. A paradox arises when educators approach a sustainability curriculum that has the potential to transform students’ thinking and actions, with a reductive and non-substantive pedagogy. This paper uses an epistemological and pedagogical analysis of relevant literature to redefine, clarify, and provide a more systematic and holistic understanding of a transformative pedagogy required for learning. The central thesis juxtaposes three sustainability curricular positions with three pedagogical models that vary decidedly in their emphasis on the prerogative of the learner’s prior knowledge and beliefs, the engagement of the learner, and the potential for critical thinking and transformative learning. It is found that a transformative pedagogy overcomes and eliminates the paradox, helping societies become more sustainable.
Résumé Parce que l’enseignement du développement durable représente un vrai défi pour les éducateurs, les étudiants sont privés de connaissance, d’engagement, et de compréhension de leur position à mieux connaître et à maîtriser tous les aspects du développement durable. Un paradoxe se pose lorsque les éducateurs abordent un programme d’études sur le développement durable avec le potentiel de transformer la pensée et les actions des étudiants avec une pédagogie réductrice. Une analyse épistémologique et pédagogique de la littérature a été utilisée pour redéfinir, clarifier et prévoir une compréhension plus systématique d’une pédagogie transformative nécessaire pour l’apprentissage du développement durable. La thèse centrale juxtapose trois positions curriculaires pour enseigner le développement durable avec trois modèles qui varient résolument dans leur accentuation sur l’apprenant et sa connaissance préalable, son engagement et son potentiel de la pensée critique et de l’apprentissage transformateur. L’article révèle que la pédagogie transformative surmonte et élimine le paradoxe, et ainsi aide la société à devenir plus durable.
This paper examines whether intermediary bodies are useful in advancing government goals for quality and sustainability in higher education systems. It explores the evidence about intermediary bodies through case studies of England, Israel, New Zealand and the United States. It also treats the case of Ontario, whose best- known intermediary bodies have been the Ontario Council on University Affairs and the colleges’ Council of Regents.
In July 2016, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) published Understanding the
Sustainability of the Ontario Postsecondary System and its Institutions: A Framework (Weingarten,
Hicks & Moran, 2016). The key messages of the report were:
1. Sustainability is about more than just money. It also relates to the quality of education and the academic experience institutions can offer.
2. The best sustainability regimes are those that look forward and are designed to predict future challenges.
3. Overcoming sustainability challenges requires collaboration between government and institutions.
The tools available are inextricably linked to other policies and practices, such as
enrolment planning, tuition policy, funding formulas, differentiation and institutional autonomy.