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Integrated management systems for enhancing education for sustainable development in universities: a memetic approach
- Holm, Tove, Vuorisalo, Timo, Sammalisto, Kaisu
- Journal of cleaner production 2015 v.106 pp. 155-163
- higher education, management systems, quality control, sustainable development, universities, Scandinavia
- There is a need for new approaches for enhancing education for sustainable development in universities. Memetics, which is about effective pathways of communication, could be such a new, promising approach. Quality assurance is required in universities to secure and improve education, which could be another approach. The aim of this study is to look into whether and how frameworks for processes and procedures for quality assurance, such as management systems, could be utilized to promote higher education for sustainable development. The study approaches this from both a theoretical and a practical standpoint. An evolutionary perspective was chosen, considering higher education for sustainable development and management systems as memes, or basic units of cultural replication. The practical context was studied by looking into how 11 universities in the Nordic countries have enhanced ESD with management systems. We found that both higher education for sustainable development and management systems could be considered successful memes and that management systems could be applied to enhance higher education for sustainable development.