About this Research Topic
Over the past few decades, higher education (HE) has become increasingly competence-based in an attempt to better contribute to the development of professionals who need to be highly skilled to face organizational competitiveness and labour market demands. Higher education institutions (HEIs) have, thus, integrated key competencies or a combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values into their curriculum. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have assigned a crucial role to HEIs to foster key competencies for sustainable development which will allow professionals to navigate challenges in different socio-economic environments. In this evolutionary context, some HEIs have implemented major changes in their programs to nourish the professional skills of students, while others are planning to innovate their programs and learning outcomes. We can, therefore, witness the growth of sustainable research projects and the involvement of students in accomplishing practical sustainable tasks.
Beyond the need to examine the sustainable development goals from the HE perspective, there is still a dearth of academic contributions about integrating sustainable development into HE which has resulted in a limited exchange of practices. Existing and future university students will be at the forefront of knowledge production in addressing sustainability challenges, especially in our cities. Not only will their knowledge, skills and competencies inform policy and decision-making, but are important in responding to emerging societal challenges. Even if state actors are absent from the urban scene, university students can potentially represent a new form of governance in informing and shaping the trajectories of change. This Research Topic, therefore, aims to address the contribution of HEIs in developing key competencies for sustainable development through research, curriculum innovation and practices from a variety of disciplines. We welcome scholars to contribute empirical, conceptual and case study research papers that fall within the following areas:
• Environmental education policies in HEIs to promote sustainable development;
• Inclusion of sustainability in the curriculum of HE programs;
• Development of sustainability competencies among existing and future professionals;
• Partnerships between HEIs and local entities to foster sustainability competencies of students;
• Perception of social and environmental sustainability of university students;
• Relationship between HEIs and their respective urban contexts to develop sustainability key competencies;
• Building sustainability leadership;
• Role of HEIs’ sustainable development research to foster sustainable competencies;
• Institutionalization of sustainable development education in different HE country contexts;
• Involvement of students in HEIs’ practical projects to develop sustainable development competencies.
Keywords: Key Competencies, Higher Education, Sustainable Development, Knowledge Production, Policy and Decision-Making, Governance, Sustainable Cities, Higher Education Curriculum, Sustainability Leadership
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.