STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS ON THEIR ALMA MATER ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: A COMPARATIVE STUDY IN RUSSIAN AND ARMENIAN ACADEMIC SETTINGS
Keywords:sustainability, higher education, environment, PRUE, YGU
Environmental sustainability is a constant concern for educational establishments as it has many vital social, academic and financial implications. The aim of this study is to investigate and compare students’ perceptions regarding their university’s environmental challenges in two geographically distant countries: sampling two economic universities in Russia and Armenia.
A survey related to university’s environmental challenges based on 5-point Likert scale was administered to the Bachelor’s and Master’s students at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (PRUE), Moscow, Russia and Yerevan Gladzor University (YGU), Yerevan, Armenia. The findings revealed that irrespective of geographical location, there are similar notable differences in students’ attitudes towards understanding their own role in their university’s environmental well-being. The data shows that the majority of the students strongly understand the concepts of sustainability, sustainable development, eco-friendliness and eco-tourism. The findings reveal that students’ age and their education level significantly correlate with their general knowledge of sustainability. Senior students have more responsible attitude towards environmental sustainability of their university. The study established that the majority of the students perceive that environmental awareness can improve their university’s facilities, quality and academic development. They understand that they themselves are fully responsible for the university’s environmental welfare.
Suggestions by environmentally-conscious students in both universities were summarized in 5Ss: surveying the current state of affairs; sounding out the problems; suggesting improvements; saving university’s resources; sharing the experience. The possible causes of environmental problems in the universities have been analysed and their solutions have been recommended. Including formal training in environmental studies in the curricula is suggested. It has also been advised to practice environmental ethics in the universities. The findings of the research can be used for the benefit of all stakeholders and policy makers in promoting universities’ eco-conscious image, increasing students’ environmental awareness and achieving substantial cost savings.
Asuamah, S. Y., Felix, A. T., & Darkwa, B. (2012). What is the perception of students towards environmental sustainability. Journal of Natural Sciences Research, 2(10), 114-122.
Bradley, J. C., Waliczek, T. M., & Zajicek, J. M. (1999). Relationship between environmental knowledge and environmental attitude of high school students. The Journal of Environmental Education, 30(3), 17-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/00958969909601873
Cavas, B., Ertepinar, H., & Teksoz, G. (2014). Sustainability in schools of education in Turkey: In the words of Lecturers. Journal of Baltic Science Education, 13(4), 469-482.
Du Plessis, A. J., Nel, P. S., & Al-Shamaa, S. (2012). The perceptions of tertiary students towards environmental sustainability: some empirical evidence from a longitudinal study. World Review of Business Research, 2(3), 43-62.
Emanuel, R., & Adams, J. N. (2011). College students' perceptions of campus sustainability. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 12(1), 79-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676371111098320
Epstein, M. J., & Buhovac, A. R. (2014). Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental, and economic impacts. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Hedstrom, G. S. (2018). Sustainability: What it is and how to Measure it. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.
Keinonen, T., Palmberg, I., Kukkonen, J., Yli-Panula, E., Persson, C., & Vilkonis, R. (2016). Higher education students’ perceptions of environmental issues and media coverage. Discourse and communication for sustainable education, 7(1), 5-22. https://doi.org/10.1515/dcse-2016-0001
Matson, P., Clark, W. C., & Andersson, K. (2016). Pursuing sustainability: a guide to the science and practice. Princeton University Press.
Ozmen, D., Cakmakcı-Cetinkaya, A., Nehir, S. (2005). University students’ attitudes towards environmental problems. TAF Preventive Medicine Bulletin, 4(6), 330-344.
Rahman, N., Chen, J., & Toh, W. (2012). Environmental sustainability: perceptions of international students in New Zealand. Asia Pacific Journal of Business and Management, 3(1), 1-11.
Sroufe, R. P. (2018). Index', Integrated Management (pp. 391-406). Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-561-020181021
Stern, M. J. (2018). Social science theory for environmental sustainability: A practical guide. Oxford University Press.
Thiele, L. P. (2016). Sustainability. John Wiley & Sons.
Ugbaja, S. C. (2018). Management Practices Towards the Incorporation of Sustainability in African Universities. Management, 10(8).
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The author is the copyright holder. Distribution license: CC Attribution 4.0.