Edition 203 - March 2018

How Swedish HEIs work in promoting sustainable development

In a recently published report, the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) assesses the state of play of the promotion of sustainable development (SD) in Sweden Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The report has been released two years after the UKÄ was given this task by the Swedish government, in line with the 2006 provision of the Higher Education Act saying that HEIs should promote SD. 

The method followed was composed of three stages: first, the HEIs self-evaluated their efforts in promoting SD; second, such self-evaluations were reviewed by an assessment panel, which highlighted strengths and weaknesses; third, based on the panel’s feedback, the UKÄ gave an assessment to each HEI (the HEI has a well-developed process in the promotion of SD or the HEI has to improve its work in the promotion of SD). 

Main results vary quite considerably. While a good number of HEIs has integrated SD into courses or degree programmes, about half of them have not yet done so. In total, only about one quarter of HEIs have been assessed as “well-developed”. 

The areas taken into account by the UKÄ are: 

  • Governance and organisation: does the HEI have established overall goals for SD? How systematically are follow-ups on the development of the work for SD conducted? 
  • Environment, resources and areas: how actively does the HEI work to ensure staff competence in issues related to SD?
  • Design, implementation and outcomes: how is SD practically implemented in the teaching practice? 

All in all, there seems to be room for improvement, but Sweden seems to be on a good track. 

More information

(back to newsletter)