Danubius International Conferences, 18th International Conference on European Integration - Realities and Perspectives

Sustainability and Innovation at Tirana Universities: Students perceptions on Sustainable Development in higher education in Albania

Ada Mucina Bici, Mimoza Skënderi Kasimati
Last modified: 2023-06-08


Objectives. Economic, social and environmental sustainability (ES) are today important variables to various fields of economy. Higher education institutions play an important role in addressing sustainable development goals. Governments have raised their attention and awareness related to better usage of natural resources, greener economy, recycling and circular usage of products. In line with the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations, Environmental Sustainability is a matter of high concern globally. The paper aims to analyze Sustainable Development Goals in action at universities in Albania.

Prior Work. This is the second publication of the authors on the matter of ES and the role that universities in Tirana, capital of Albania, have played. The first study from the same authors analyzed inclusion of the ES concepts in university syllabuses and in scientific research, in current operations inside the universities and in human resources (HR) practices seen from the perspective of professors.

Implications/Values. The actual study aims to bring the engagement of students in some universities in Tirana in activities related to SDG-s, climate change, recycling practices as well as their evaluation on the level of inclusion of ES (specifically and SDG-s) in curricula, teaching, and operations of universities in Tirana.

Approach. The research uses quantitative, qualitative and exploratory analysis; 500 students from public universities were reached out. The sample was diversified from different study fields like business administration, finance, accounting, informatics, engineering, geology, agronomics, environment, social studies, medicine etc.

Results. From the quantitative data, results show that 69% of university students have heard about sustainable development goals, but only 31% know what they exactly are.  34% of students never heard of this term but 62% of them would like to know more about SDG-s in courses or trainings offered by the university.  51% of them believe that universities should motivate students towards more sustainable actions concerning the environment. 52% of students are very concerned about climate change and 70% claim that are acting towards the protection of environment, however only 18% of them are actively engaged in social and environmental activities in Albania. Students have information about reusing, reducing and recycling practices and are involved in positive actions towards different aspects of these practices.

Keywords: Environmental sustainability (ES) in higher education; sustainable development goals; perception and action of students towards Sustainable Development Goals; higher education operations and programs towards sustainability; innovative approach to sustainability in Tirana.

Jel Classification: Q01; Q5