Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Assessing the contribution of Higher Education programmes

Tags: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) | assessment framework; learning outcomes; 30 sustainability attributes;


This article builds on the systemic framework for connecting ESD learning outcomes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we developed in our previous article and published in Sustainability Journal (Education for Sustainable Development: A Systemic Framework for Connecting the SDGs to Educational Outcomes). Employing a systems approach in ESD assists our holistic understanding and grouping of the SDGs into eight important sustainability attributes instead of 17 sustainability goals and helps Higher Education practitioners align their educational approaches with sustainability more comprehensively. As a result we developed an assessment tool and methodology for evaluating the alignment of the learning outcomes of various educational programmes with sustainability testing their performance against the eight sustainability attributes using a multi-criteria technique. The developed tool was applied in forty environment and sustainability related programmes and they were ranked according to their scores. The overall analysis highlights good practices and also gaps in the sustainability offerings and provides guidance for articulating sustainability learning outcomes before assessing their development in University students.