Title: The influence of sustainability on students' perceived image and trust towards university

Authors: Mehran Nejati; Mostafa Nejati; Azadeh Shafaei

Addresses: Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia ' HSBC Bank Canada, Vancouver, BC V5G 4S1, Canada ' School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia

Abstract: With the growing level of awareness among citizens on social responsibility of organisations, this study seeks to investigate how sustainability practices of universities influence students' perceived image and trust towards the university. Using a sample of 185 university students enrolled in Malaysia, the proposed research framework was examined and analysed by performing Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM). The findings of the study revealed that community outreach initiative, as well as land use & planning initiative significantly influenced perceived university image and students' trust towards university, while waste and energy initiative was only the significant predictor of students' trust. The current study provides invaluable insights to university administrators and educational managers by highlighting the importance of practical engagement in sustainability initiatives. The study is however limited by its sample size and selection. This research is among the first studies which empirically investigate the impact of university sustainability practices on forming students' perceived image and trust towards the university.

Keywords: sustainability initiatives; higher education; student trust; university image; practical engagement; sustainability-conscious organisations; international perspectives; student perceptions; universities; Malaysia; partial least squares; structural equation modelling; PLS; SEM; community outreach initiatives; land use; waste initiatives; energy initiatives; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMIE.2015.072095

International Journal of Management in Education, 2015 Vol.9 No.4, pp.411 - 425

Published online: 30 Sep 2015 *

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