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Education for sustainable development and quality assurance in universities in China and the Nordic countries: a comparative study

Holm, Tove, Sammalisto, Kaisu, Vuorisalo, Timo
Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.107 pp. 529-537
educational status, issues and policy, quality control, surveys, sustainable development, universities, China, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Scandinavia, Sweden
The global goal for education for sustainable development (ESD) is to integrate it at all levels of education. For ensuring it the change has to be put in practice, by transforming universities. The Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) strive to be among the regions that lead the way in enhancing ESD, and want to increase cooperation with China. It is therefore interesting to compare the region with China. We compared ESD and quality assurance between these areas at both policy and implementation levels. The former was based on literature, and the latter was studied with specific surveys in academia in both regions; in two provinces in China and in the Nordic countries. We investigated the possibilities to improve ESD in these regions by benefiting from quality assurance requirements. We found that both regions enhance ESD. The rather similar quality assurance requirements do not include ESD. In China, the respondents viewed quality assurance as sustainable development.