Governance implications of the UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative

Moon, C. J., Walmsley, Andreas and Apostolopoulos, Nikolaos (2018) Governance implications of the UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, 18 (4) . pp. 624-634. ISSN 1472-0701 [Article] (doi:10.1108/CG-01-2018-0020)

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The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI, 2017a) states that higher education institutions (HEIs) are integrating the SDGs into sustainability strategies in the form of research, teaching, pedagogy, and campus practices, and to position HEIs as key drivers for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Concern has been raised (HESI, 2017b) as to the potential impact of HEIs in helping to achieve the SDGs; the challenges faced by HEIs with integrating the SDGs into curriculum and institutional strategies; the role of partnerships for HEIs among students, faculty, government, and various stakeholders; and how the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the SDGs, will transform the work of HEIs. Prior research has highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research and studies (e.g. Mader & Rammel, 2015); and more recently Rasche et al (2017) conceive that governance systems in general can serve to make, take, or break support for the SDGs. In fact, Velazquez et al., (2005) found many obstacles preventing the success of sustainability initiatives on campuses around the world. This paper reviews progress of a sample of 300+ HEIs that are signatories to the HESI. Findings reveal a difference between HEI governance that is ‘instrumental’ and governance that is ‘holistic’ in relation to sustainability with implications for achieving the SDGs in general and for academic-business partnerships in particular. The research is supported by a grant from Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK, 2017) a network of 1,600 enterprise and entrepreneurship educators and practitioners from over 100 UK Higher and Further Education Institutions and related organisations.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation > Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics group
Item ID: 24041
Notes on copyright: This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Governance implications of the UN Higher Education Sustainability Initiative", published in the journal Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society available via the journal site at:
This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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Depositing User: Christopher Moon
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2018 13:46
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2021 15:21

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