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    Climate change: Why higher education matters?

    Leal, W ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1241-5225, Aina, YA, Dinis, MAP, Purcell, W and Nagy, GJ (2023) Climate change: Why higher education matters? Science of the Total Environment, 892. p. 164819. ISSN 0048-9697

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    Abstract

    Higher education (HE) matters to the global struggle to combat climate change. Research builds knowledge and informs climate solutions. Educational programmes and courses upskill current and future leaders and professionals to tackle the systems change and the transformation needed to improve society. Through their outreach and civic engagement work, HE helps people understand and address the climate change impacts, notably on under-resourced or marginalised people. By raising awareness of the problem and supporting capacity and capability building, HE encourages changes in attitudes and behaviours, focusing on adaptive change in preparing people to face the challenges of a changing climate. However, HE has yet to fully articulate its contribution towards climate change challenges, which means that organisational structures, curricula and research programmes do not reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the climate crisis. This paper describes the role of HE in supporting education and research efforts on climate change and outlines areas where further action is urgently needed. The study adds to the empirical research on HE's role in combating climate change and the role of cooperation in maximising the global effort to cope with a changing climate.

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