Governance in the implementation of the UN sustainable development goals in higher education: global trends


Walter Leal Filbo, European School of Sustainability Science and Research, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany
Ismaila Rimi Abubakar Rimi Abubakar, College of Architecture and Planning, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (Formerly, University of Dammam)
Mark C. Mifsud, Centre for Environmental Education and Research (CEER), University of Malta, Msida, Malta
João Henrique Paulino Pires Eustachio, Faculty of Life Sciences, Research and Transfer Centre Sustainability & Climate Change Management (FTZ-NK), Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Ulmenliet 20, 21033, Hamburg, Germany
Clarissa Ferreira Albrecht, Departamento de Arquitetura e Urbanismo, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Campus Universitário, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570-900, Brazil
Maria Alzira Pimenta Dinis, UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit (FP-ENAS), University Fernando Pessoa (UFP), Praça 9 de Abril 349, 4249-004, Porto, Portugal
Bruno Borsari, Biology Department, Winona State University, Winona, MN, 55987, USA
Ayyoob Sharifi, The IDEC Institute and The Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS), Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan
Vanessa Levesque, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of Southern Maine
Priscilla Cristina Cabral Ribeiro, Department of Industrial Engineering, Fluminense Federal University
Todd J. LeVasseur, Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program, College of Charleston, Charleston
Laís Viera Trevisan, School of Administration, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Thais A. Dibbern, Department of Science and Technology Policy, University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil

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Environment, Development and Sustainability


Governance is a key component for implementing sustainable development (SD) initiatives in university teaching, research, and projects. This line of thinking also applies to implementing the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs). Despite the role of governance in guiding processes related to the SDGs, few studies have examined these relations in an integrative manner in higher education. To bridge this knowledge gap, this study assesses the connections between governance and implementing the SDGs at higher education institutions (HEIs). Specifically, it relies on two main methods. The first is a bibliometric analysis, where the literature on the topic has been analyzed. The second method uses case studies from a sample of universities. The combined dual approach has identified the extent to which governance issues influence how these organizations perceive and handle the SDGs. The study provides valuable recommendations that may assist HEIs in implementing the SDGs with a due emphasis on governance.