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Education in a warming world: Trends, opportunities and pitfalls for institutes of higher education

Kelly, Orla; Illingworth, Sam; Butera, Fabrizio; Dawson, Vaille; White, Peta; Blaise, Mindy; Martens, Pim; Schuitema, Geertje; Huynen, Maud; Bailey, Susan; Cowman, Sian


Orla Kelly

Fabrizio Butera

Vaille Dawson

Peta White

Mindy Blaise

Pim Martens

Geertje Schuitema

Maud Huynen

Susan Bailey

Sian Cowman


Higher education institutes (HEI) face considerable challenges in navigating how to respond to the escalating and intertwined socio-ecological sustainability crises. Many dedicated individuals working in the sector are already driving meaningful action through rigorous research, teaching, knowledge sharing, and public engagement, while there is a growing consensus that sector-wide change is needed to ensure that aspirational declarations and positive individual actions translate into sustainable and transformative change. This article seeks to contribute to such efforts by illustrating a number of trends, examples, and reflections on how third-level educational institutes can act sustainably. We highlight the potential of five strategies HEI could employ to support the creation of a more sustainable future namely, (i) innovative approaches to climate change education; (ii) research agendas for societal transformations; (iii) providing climate change education for professional development; (iv) supporting public intellectuals; and (iv) investing in whole-systems approaches to greening the campus. The insights are the product of an interdisciplinary working group with members from across Europe, Australia, and the UK. These international examples provide insight and a sense of possibility for future application.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 16, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2022
Publication Date Jul 7, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 12, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 12, 2022
Journal Frontiers in Sustainability
Print ISSN 2673-4524
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Article Number 920375
Keywords climate change, education, sustainability education, sustainable universities, sustainability challenges, sustainable organizations, higher education, environmental education
Public URL
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