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Provision of education for sustainability development and sustainability literacy in business programs in three higher education institutions in Brazil, Colombia and Peru

Cavalcanti-Bandos, MF, Quispe-Prieto, S, Paucar-Caceres, A ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4690-561X, Burrowes-Cromwel, T and Rojas-Jiménez, HH (2021) Provision of education for sustainability development and sustainability literacy in business programs in three higher education institutions in Brazil, Colombia and Peru. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 22 (5). pp. 1055-1086. ISSN 1467-6370

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to report on the status and the development of education for sustainable development (ESD) and sustainability literacy (SL) in three Latin American (LA) higher education institutions (HEIs) business programs in Peru, Brazil and Colombia. The paper examines institutional efforts to both introduce and implement ESD curricula and provide SL. Design/methodology/approach: The methods used in this paper included reviews of university Web pages and course materials. Structured interviews were also conducted with program leaders, to examine the level of ESD, as input affecting the business programs curricula of the universities concerned. Findings: Initial findings suggest that, in the three HEIs surveyed, there is still a tendency to talk about issues related to ESD but actions that confirm this interest are not sufficiently advanced. The authors surveys a sample of business programs curricula and interviewed its leaders and a mixed and dated picture emerged. When compared to other regions particularly the USA and Europe, the findings show that the HEIs surveyed still have not developed enough work to distinguish conceptually between sustainable development, ESD and SL making the embedment of these concepts in the curriculum not fully developed. Originality/value: In LA HEIs, the ESD message seems to be slowly taking ground, equipping HEIs to respond to SL concerns. Implementation and practice in some HEIs are still at an embryonic and conceptually confused stage with regard to LA HEIs SL. This paper sheds light to help ESD delivery. It offers some strategies for moving on from this inception phase to a more structured SL provision and ESD outlook.

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