Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

An Analysis of Students’ Perception of University Sustainability Programs and Image

Version 1 : Received: 21 July 2021 / Approved: 26 July 2021 / Online: 26 July 2021 (11:48:43 CEST)

How to cite: Adeyanju, S. An Analysis of Students’ Perception of University Sustainability Programs and Image. Preprints 2021, 2021070571 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0571.v1). Adeyanju, S. An Analysis of Students’ Perception of University Sustainability Programs and Image. Preprints 2021, 2021070571 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202107.0571.v1).

Abstract

As sustainability gains significance within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide, the University of British Columbia (UBC) stands as one of the global champions of sustainability. In 2019, Times Higher Education ranked UBC as number one in the world for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and ranked one in Canada for making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Over the years, UBC students have been instrumental to sustainability on the UBC campus by advocating for divestment, climate justice, and other sustainability commitments and projects in the university. Hence, this qualitative study examines students’ engagement with or their perception of the university’s sustainability programs and image. The study found that students acknowledged and commended the university’s sustainability efforts in teaching, research, providing sustainability-related opportunities for students, and in sustainability operations. However, students also addressed hesitation on the part of university administration in championing climate justice and bolder climate action. The conclusion is that continued support and engagement with students are critical for UBC to achieve its climate action plans and sustainability goals in general. The study contributes to the ongoing discourse on the influential role of young people and the youth climate movement in catalyzing ambitious global climate action at all levels.

Keywords

university; HEI; students; sustainability; UBC; qualitative study; perception

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