The University as an Arena for Sustainability Transition


Special Issue of The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

” The University as an Arena for Sustainability Transition”

In the framework of a special session of the ISINI 2018 conference


Guest editors: Wim Lambrechts, Joost Platje & Ynte van Dam 


The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Club of Rome. Half a century later the need for sustainability is more urgent than ever, but many universities worldwide lag behind when integrating sustainability in their education, research, outreach and campus operations.

A new kind of revolution may be necessary for higher education to regain its relevance for sustainable development (SD). A radical breakthrough might position the university as a new arena to create a sustainable future. A critical assessment is needed on the issue whether current curricula, contribute to unsustainable development, thereby challenging the assumptions and worldviews that are ingrained (e.g. in business and economics education), most notably the primacy of efficiency, profit and eternal growth. On the basis of the need to promote a scholarly debate and discussion on the role of universities as arena for sustainability transition, this special issue of The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education is being prepared. Now on its 19th volume, IJSHE is a fully indexed journal and the world´s leading scientific periodical devoted to sustainability in higher education.

Contributions are invited that offer critical reflections on the role of universities in sustainability and the role of sustainability in universities, especially in respect of transition. The main themes covered in this special issue include: Frameworks and declarations for HESD; Change management approaches; Living laboratory for sustainability; Holistic approaches in organisational change and assessment; Curriculum change; Competences for SD; Alternative educational approaches; Research for SD; Sustainability science; Collaboration with societal stakeholders; Multi-actor partnerships; Sustainability assessment; Sustainability reporting; Other themes relevant for the topic and interlinking between different topics is encouraged.


In order to submit your paper to the special issue, please follow the steps below:

  • Login the IJSHE submission page:
  • In the author portal, click “Start New Submission > begin submission”
  • In Step 5 (‘details and comments’), you can choose the special issue under the following question: “Please select the issue you are submitting to. Please note that you should select Regular issue unless you are responding to a call for papers on one of the issues listed below”.


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