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Implications of vertical policy integration for sustainable development implementation in higher education institutions

Vargas, Valeria Ruiz and Lawthom, Rebecca and Prowse, Alicia and Randles, Sally and Tzoulas, Konstantinos (2019) Implications of vertical policy integration for sustainable development implementation in higher education institutions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 235. pp. 733-740. ISSN 0959-6526

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Abstract

The United Nations together with various national and local actors have acknowledged the importance of sustainable development. However, sustainable development implementation is not straightforward and requires contribution by different actors. Universities have a role in influencing and contributing towards sustainable development. Also, some universities have committed to support sustainable development implementation. One of the instruments to implement sustainable development are policy frameworks, which exist at international, national and institutional level. Vertical policy integration is crucial to support effective implementation of sustainable development. Analysing vertical policy integration could provide information to help improve sustainable development implementation. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to improve understanding of sustainable development implementation in higher education by undertaking a multilevel (international, nationally, organisational) analysis of policy frameworks. Results suggested that policy frameworks include policy issues such as collaboration, partnership, education, outreach, teaching and learning, staff development, curriculum review, research, campus operations and policy that can support sustainable development implementation. However, these policy issues are not consistently integrated at all levels of policy frameworks. Achieving consistency could enhance sustainable development implementation in higher education institutions.

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