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Considering the different roles universities can perform to contribute to sustainable development, it is through teaching and outreach that they might be able to connect to the academic and local communities the most. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which energy sustainability is being considered in campus teaching and outreach activities of different higher education institutions worldwide. In this context, this exploratory study was developed.Design/methodology/approachThrough an online survey, a group of 36 universities from all continents was inquired about the level of sustainability in energy aspects of teaching and outreach activities, including curriculum change, training courses for staff and the regularity of outreach projects.FindingsThe results allowed global analysis concerning challenges and opportunities of these educational activities. This study also touches upon the interconnection between these practices and the contribution of universities towards the 2030 Agenda, and how universities can expand their activities and contribute practically to society. In terms of practical contributions, this study provides recommendations for higher education institutions to develop further in the area of energy sustainability through teaching and outreach.Originality/valueEnergy is a sustainability aspect relatively well covered by actions on campus operations, but there is a paucity of studies connecting this topic to teaching and outreach activities. This study is an approach to not only fill this gap but also reinforce the university role and contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 11, 2020
Keywords: Extension; Sustainable Development Goals; Energy literacy; Energy training; University role
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