Towards a ‘Sustainable University’: Scenarios for sustainable university development

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Universities are key actors in sustainable development by generating new knowledge as well as contributing to the development of appropriate competencies and raising sustainability awareness. Within a project called “Sustainable University" at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany), a scenario analysis was carried out in order to think structurally about both the challenges that universities could face in the long run and to establish what chances and problems might arise in future from implementing an orientation towards sustainable development. This analysis results in the characterisation of a “Higher Education Landscape 2035" consisting of eight clusters of possible future developments. This paper describes the process of inter- and transdisciplinary scenario development, gives an overview of the scenarios identified, and finally discusses the adaptability of the Lüneburg idea of a sustainable university to the future system of higher education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)313-332
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 10.2011

    Research areas

  • Sustainability sciences, Communication - Future projections, Higher Education Landscape 2035, Higher education system, Scenario analysis, Sustainability, Sustainability science, Sustainable university development, Trans-disciplinarity, Transformative case study