Edge Hill University
Enhancing Sustainable Development Goals in Higher Education.pdf (144.57 kB)

Enhancing Sustainable Development Goals in Higher Education.pdf

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-09-27, 17:59 authored by Ofelia A. Palermo, Paul Wreaves, Lisa Dietlin


Purpose. From a leaderful practice perspective, this case study focuses on illustrating the impact of the synergic use of collaborative online and face-to-face international learning approaches for enhancing the integration of sustainable development goals (SDGs) into master’s (M) level curricula. Higher Education (HE) institutions have a relevant role in implementing the United Nations agenda for sustainable development and there is an ongoing debate on how HE can contribute to shape individuals driven by responsible values, attitudes, and beliefs. 

Case. We focus on the outcome of a partnership between two HE institutions, in the UK and USA. Two course teams jointly designed a consultancy-type experiential module that involved an initial block of collaborative online international learning and a second face-to-face one. The aim of the module was to allow mixed student teams from both institutions to provide consultancy to non-profit organisations based in the USA. 

Outcome. The initiative generated a distinctive dynamic where the student teams and the non-profit organisations prolonged their relationship to beyond the duration of the project. It also established a stronger connection between the two HE institutions which identified a greater overlap between their respective underpinning institutional values. Finally, the case was displayed as inspirational for responsible management education at the PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Global Forum.

Originality/value. Our case study shows how the adoption of a leaderful practice outlook can act as a key action enabler on all three levels that reflect the direction of mainstream scholarship on the integration of SDGs into HE curricula: underpinning paradigms, attitudes and behaviours, and agile pedagogical approaches. With our case we show that the partnership between institutions that strive to integrate SDGs experiential learning international initiatives into Higher Education M level curricula has a generative power that goes beyond mere curriculum design. It can give rise to ‘unexpected’ outcomes. In our specific case, it generated incremental innovation in collaborative modes of learning, and it provided a context for accelerating the construction of a collective social responsibility ethos among students from different countries, institutions, and academic backgrounds. 


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