STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS ON THEIR ALMA MATER ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: A COMPARATIVE STUDY IN RUSSIAN AND ARMENIAN ACADEMIC SETTINGS

Authors

  • Elena Gavrilova Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia
  • Lilit Sahakyan Yerevan Gladzor University, Armenia
  • Kira Trostina Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia
  • Dinara Tutaeva Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12955/pss.v1.49

Keywords:

sustainability, higher education, environment, PRUE, YGU

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Elena Gavrilova, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia

Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia

Lilit Sahakyan, Yerevan Gladzor University, Armenia

Yerevan Gladzor University, Armenia

Kira Trostina, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia

Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia, Trostina

Dinara Tutaeva, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia

Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Russia, Tutaeva

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Published

2020-11-16

How to Cite

Gavrilova, E. ., Sahakyan, L. ., Trostina, K. ., & Tutaeva, D. . (2020). STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS ON THEIR ALMA MATER ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: A COMPARATIVE STUDY IN RUSSIAN AND ARMENIAN ACADEMIC SETTINGS. Proceedings of CBU in Social Sciences, 1, 66-73. https://doi.org/10.12955/pss.v1.49