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Towards a model for measuring university sustainability
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
Karlstads Universitet.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Intellectual Capital / [ed] Lidia Garcia; Arturo Rodriguez-Castellanos; Jon Barrutia-Guenaga, Reading, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The multitude of challenges related to sustainable development require, not only a shift in mind‐set but also high competence in most sectors of employment. But how could we know if a university education is going to provide necessary competence in sustainable development? A model being developed to measure university sustainability is the Assessment Instrument of Sustainability in Higher Education (AISHE). Using the logic of self‐assessment and based on the Triple Bottom Line this model deals with operations, education, research, interaction with society and core values with a so called identity module. The model makes an operationalization of sustainable development and its structure should be usable for constructing a quick assessment system similar to those of many business excellence models. Finding out the level of university sustainability is clearly not very easy for presumptive students. Furthermore, we can assume that since being sustainable is politically correct there is a risk of “sustainability washing” of information provided. Current university ranking systems do not seem to correspond well with how universities are working with sustainable development. The research question is if the AISHE‐model could be converted into a credible quick assessment tool by relying on information provided by the university web‐site. For this to work the university needs to have a culture that promotes transparency. With the rapid development of information technology it could be expected that more and more countries will have the conditions for using web‐sites for providing the necessary information. Swedish university web‐sites are used for testing the model. Sweden has a high level of transparency and is therefore thought to form a suitable example. This paper deals with conceptual development of the assessment model. Further studies will be carried out to validate the model. Results indicate that a structured web‐site analysis can be used to quantify information that is organised according to chosen partsof the AISHE‐model. The first results indicate that Swedish universities still have a long way to go in becoming sustainable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading, 2013.
Research subject
Quality Technology and Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-34958Local ID: 946a2432-5a92-4fcb-930e-ec971e1befcaISBN: 978-1-909507-13-5 (print)ISBN: 978-1-909507-15-9 (electronic)OAI: diva2:1008210
European Conference on Intellectual Capital : 11/04/2013 - 12/04/2013
Godkänd; 2013; 20130527 (rickg)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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