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ERIC Number: EJ1086021
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Campus Sustainability Governance in Canada: A Content Analysis of Post-Secondary Institutions' Sustainability Policies
Vaughter, Philip; McKenzie, Marcia; Lidstone, Lauri; Wright, Tarah
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v17 n1 p16-39 2016
Purpose: This paper aims to provide an overview of a content analysis of sustainability policies from Canadian post-secondary education institutions. The paper reports findings on the orientations to sustainability evident in the policies; references to other policies within the documents; and other key themes on how sustainability is engaged in the policies in relation to overall governance, education, operations, research and community outreach. Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 50 Canadian colleges and universities was selected based on representativeness across a range of criteria. A qualitative thematic content analysis of these policies was conducted using a collaborative coding approach. Findings: Results suggest that most sustainability policies described a Brundtland (i.e. intergenerational) and/or three-pillar (e.g. economic, environmental and social) orientation to sustainability. Many sustainability policies also connected to other external municipal or provincial policies. In terms of various domains of sustainability, campus operations was discussed by all of the policies and in the most detail, while discussions of sustainability in education (i.e. the curriculum) and in research were vague, and discussions of sustainability in relation to community outreach were included less frequently. Originality/value: This comparative study provides a broad view of sustainability policies from post-secondary institutions across Canada. It deepens our understanding of the institutions' conceptualizations of, and priorities for, sustainability. This paper has practical implications for institutions seeking to create or further develop their own policies, and it contributes to the comparative scholarly literature on the institutionalization of sustainability in higher education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A