Sustainability subjects in university education - Development of a comprehensive indicator system and quantitative analysis of degree programs at German universities

  • A new comprehensive evaluation system presented here allows to compare and to quantify education for a sustainable development (ESD) in degree programs. The evaluation is based on a criteria system working with three hierarchic levels. The highest level considers a list of 35 indicator terms. Primarily, the two most popular undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree programs in Germany (mechanical engineering, ME, and business administration, BA) have been reviewed for ESD contents based on the new evaluation scheme. Additionally we reviewed and quantified ESD subjects and their temporal changes in the entire bandwidth of degree programs of a university (Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld, University of Applied Sciences Trier), back to 1999. Moreover, a spot check on international ME and BA bachelor’s degree programs was performed. Through our reviews, we found a high number of elective classes dedicated to ESD particularly in BA bachelor programs. However, the percentage of compulsory classes related to ESD is relatively low with 5-6 % in both ME and BA programs, respectively. The spot check on degree programs outside Germany revealed similar results. Analysing the time trend at Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld, a considerable share of ESD that was part of the original diploma degrees was moved to what are now master’s degrees.

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Author:Eckard Helmers, Fabienne Ilchmann
Parent Title (English):European Journal of Sustainable Development Research
Document Type:Article (specialist journals)
Date of OPUS upload:2022/11/28
Date of first Publication:2019/05/11
Publishing University:Hochschule Trier
Release Date:2022/11/28
Tag:ESD; Environmental Campus Birkenfeld; bachelor degree programs in business administration and mechanical engineering; higher education for a sustainable development; indicator system; sustainability education; time trend
GND Keyword:Höheres Bildungswesen; Studiengang; Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung; Bewertung; Deutschland
Article Number:em0092
Page Number:17
First Page:1
Last Page:17
Departments:FB Umweltplanung/-technik (UCB)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International