by Ingrid Mulà (2011)
Higher education institutions not only provide research and policy in sustainability, but also create and facilitate environments for students and staff to develop their understanding and responses to sustainability. Sustainability learning opportunities in higher education are often thought to occur only in formal settings - facilitated by educators and lecturers in a classroom. This research looks at the learning which occurs within the informal and social contexts of higher education institutions. This study refers to this learning as 'social learning'.
The research was conducted at three universities in the UK which had made and explicit commitment to sustainability. Through a critical collaborative inquiry, this research sought to capture and document lived experiences of staff (academic, administrative and support) which were informed by social learning opportunities regarding sustainability within these institutions. This research will ultimately construct indicators as a basis for benchmarking practice which can help universities improve their contribution of social learning in the attainment of sustainability.