Higher education, sustainability, and London buses

Posted in: New Publications

Just when you've getting tired of waiting for a half-decent book about higher education and sustainability to come along, like London buses, two of them arrive; and, just like London buses, they're from the same company.

Routledge (Abingdon) has released The Sustainable university: progress and prospects; and Routledge (New York) has published Higher Education for Sustainability: cases, challenges and opportunities from across the curriculum. I don't suppose that either sets of editors knew of the other's work.  Indeed, I wonder whether the two arms of the publishers did.  Whilst it would be good to think that this was a co-ordinated, cross-Atlantic effort, I have my doubts.

Here's the web-blurb for the UK book (edited by Stephen Sterling, Larch Maxey and Heather Luna):

The direction of higher education is at a crossroads against a background of mounting sustainability-related issues and uncertainties. This book seeks to inspire positive change in higher education by exploring the rich notion of the sustainable university and illustrating pathways through which its potential can be realised. Based on the experience of leading higher education institutions in the UK, the book outlines progress in the realisation of the concept of the ‘sustainable university’ appropriate to the socioeconomic and ecological conditions facing society and graduates.

Written by leading exponents of sustainability and sustainability education, this book brings together examples, insight, reflection and strategies from the experience of ten universities, widely recognised as leaders in developing sustainability in higher education. The book thus draws on a wealth of experience to provide reflective critical analysis of barriers, achievements, strategies and potential. It critically reviews the theory and practice involved in developing the sustainable university in a systemic and whole institutional manner, including the role of organisational learning.

While remaining mindful of the challenges of the current climate, The Sustainable University maps out new directions and lines of research as well as offering practical advice for researchers, students and professionals in the fields of management, leadership, organisational change, strategy and curriculum development who wish to take this work further.

And this is the same for the USA one (edited by Lucas F Johnston):

Student and employer demand, high-level institutional commitment, and faculty interest are inspiring the integration of sustainability oriented themes into higher education curricula and research agendas. Moving toward sustainability calls for shifts in practice such as interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships for engaged learning. This timely edited collection provides a glimpse at the ways colleges and universities have integrated sustainability across the curriculum. The research-based chapters provide empirical studies of both traditional and innovative degree programs as well as case studies from professional schools. Chapter authors illustrate some of the inclusive and deliberative community and political processes that can lead to sustainable learning outcomes in higher education. Exploring the range of approaches campuses are making to successfully integrate sustainability into the curricula, this much-needed resource provides inspiration, guidance, and instruction for others seeking to take education for sustainability to the next level.

When London buses pitch up in tandem, one tends to be fuller than the other, so I'm already wondering whether this will hold true here.  I'll have to find out, as I am reviewing them both (together) for EER.  More later ...

Posted in: New Publications


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