In 2016, the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) was commissioned by the Swedish government to evaluate how universities and colleges are working to promote sustainable development in education. The report, which was issued in October this year, shows that the University of Gothenburg was one of the higher education institutions that received the highest marks.
“It’s wonderful and an acknowledgement of the efforts pursued by the University of Gothenburg for nearly 20 years,” says Environmental Coordinator Ullika Lundgren.
Higher education institutions are required to promote sustainable development in their activities and operations, which means that current and future generations are ensured a healthy and good environment, economic and social welfare and justice. At the University of Gothenburg, work on the environment and sustainable development has been underway since the late 1990s, not just by sorting waste and reducing energy use, but also in research and education. In 2006, the entire university was environmentally certified – the first university in Sweden to receive this designation.
UKÄ’s report states that “many of the activities and initiatives taking place at the University of Gothenburg could be highlighted to good advantage as examples of good practices in a national perspective”.
“One such example is our sustainability labelling of courses and programmes, which has also attracted international attention,” says Ullika.
Evaluation of efforts to promote sustainable development
The purpose of the evaluation is to contribute knowledge and national comparisons of how higher education institutions are working with the theme of sustainable development and to present the results achieved. It is hoped that the evaluation can also be of significance for the higher education institutions’ development efforts.
Of the 47 higher education institutions reviewed, 12 received the higher total rating of “having a well-developed process for work on sustainable development in education”.