Calls for papers


International Journal of Comparative Management
International Journal of Comparative Management


Special Issue on: "Higher Education for Sustainable Science and Development in Emerging Economies"

Guest Editors:
Dr. Anugamini P. Srivastava, Symbiosis International (Deemed) University, India
Dr. Yatish Joshi, FLAME University, India

The purpose of this special issue is to address some important theoretical and practical issues pertaining to higher education for sustainable science and development in emerging economies. In the past decade, emerging economies (e.g. BRICS, Latin America, Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa) have evidenced remarkable changes in formal regulations and economic, science and technology developments, though not much attention has been paid to higher education policies impacting the sustainable future of the country in question. However, recent studies reported that emerging economies’ stakeholders such as public and private universities have shifted their attention to a balanced approach of academic teaching/research and industry orientation as a response to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Higher education institutions have been catching up with the new direction of learning approaches. Advancing in the arena of providing social learning, higher education institutions not merely focused on making learning more interesting and challenging, but have also encouraged students to think ‘out of the box’ (Verhulst and Lambrechts, 2015). With an emphasis on creative thinking and purposeful learning, these institutions in emerging nations tried to attain international goals established by the UN (Wals and Jickling, 2002). Such thought transformation was assumed to lead to a sustainable higher education institution (Leal Filho, 2011). The path to sustainable science and development of higher education institutions gained the attention of scholars and researchers. However, special focus towards science and technology-based evaluation of sustainability practices were missing. Similarly, real-world academic pedagogies towards sustainable higher education institutions require more exploration with respect to changes in UN Sustainable Development Goals. UN reports showed that, in developed nations, higher education institutions are working well to advance in different streams of learning and thinking, whereas developing nations are having a hard time sustainng the quality of higher education institutions in the long run (Huckle and Wals, 2015; Sipos et al., 2008).

Higher education institutions have been investing huge sums to attract students from all across the world (Srivastava, 2017). They have not only given emphasis to core subject education, but are also focusing on major technological updating and appraising diversity, innovation and change towards sustainable development (Fadeeva and Mochizuki, 2010). Yet many of the universities faced problems in getting more enrolments and managing increasing drop out rates (Pashby and de Oliveira Andreotti, 2016). According to Haigh (2006), sustainable strategies are required to be redesigned in developing nations to ensure less wastage of resources. However, due to a lack of proper understanding of sustainability measures for higher education institutions, a problem still continues (Cebrián et al., 2015).

Sustainability for higher education institutions is defined differently by different thinkers (Lozano, et al., 2017). A few consider higher education development and sustainability as an integrative and interdisciplinary teaching and learning approach (Cebrián and Junyent, 2015). This approach aims at the development of problem-solving, critical thinking and system thinking skills among students. The transformative social learning approach is another approach well considered in the literature (Sipos et al., 2008; Thomas, 2009). This approach starts with the deconstruction of existing ways of knowledge and understanding-based decisions on values, beliefs and worldviews and moves towards the development of a new shared meaning of higher education sustainability. Furthermore, with the holistic purview, higher education sustainability is also explained as an interconnection between various environmental, social, developmental, economic and cultural dimensions with the need of the situations and systems to ensure effective sustainability-related problem solving (Arbuthnott, 2009; Mazhar et al., 2014).

With an aim of making students empowered and globally responsible citizens and professionals geared towards becoming active change agents, higher education institutions need to focus on developing competencies through educational programmes (Barth et al., 2007). These competencies consist of abilities that can shape future scenarios, through active participation in modelling and changing society towards sustainable practices (Lozano et al., 2017). Competence to think in a forward-looking manner, dealing with uncertain situations; competence to perform in interdisciplinary perspectives; competence to develop open-mind sets, trans-cultural thoughtfulness and cooperation; competence to participate, plan and implement; competence to reflect in a distanced manner on individual and cultural concepts; competence to be empathetic and sympathetic and to motivate themselves and others… These are some of the key competences highlighted to aid higher education sustainability in developing nations (Cebrián and Junyent, 2015; Lambrechts et al., 2013; Lozano et al., 2015).

Regarding sustainable initiatives, scholars have provided implementation models, both at single individual university levels and at university programme levels (Lambrechts et al., 2013). These models provide guidelines and stepping stones towards sustainable activities in higher education institutions (Lukman and Glavic, 2007). Further assessment tools were also focused on checking the status of sustainability and its development (Stephens and Graham, 2010). Some of these models also focus on sustainable practices backed by ethics and values in order to promote the transformative role of higher education towards sustainable development via transformative learning and research This approach can not only provide long-term assurance of sustainability, but can also lead to ethical internationalisation (Pashby and de Oliveira Andreotti, 2016). Notwithstanding, teachers’ attitude, belief and focus may have serious concerns toward sustainable practices (Cotton et al., 2007).

This call for papers, therefore, is timely for studying higher education policies and real-world academic pedagogies initiated by emerging economy-based higher education institutions. This special issue aims to publish comparative as well as general perspectives from emerging/developed countries, including single and multiple case studies in higher education. The issue’s objective is to advance our understanding of policy mechanisms, drivers, challenges, opportunities and academic-government agendas of higher education institutions (science, technology and management) impacting sustainable science and development.

Arbuthnott, K. D. (2009). Education for sustainable development beyond attitude change. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 10(2), 152-163.
Barth, M., Godemann, J., Rieckmann, M., & Stoltenberg, U. (2007). Developing key competencies for sustainable development in higher education. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 8(4), 416-430.
Cebrián, G., & Junyent, M. (2015). Competencies in education for sustainable development: Exploring the student teachers’ views. Sustainability, 7(3), 2768-2786.
Cebrián, G., Grace, M., & Humphris, D. (2015). Academic staff engagement in education for sustainable development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, 79-86.
Cotton, D. R., Warren, M. F., Maiboroda, O., & Bailey, I. (2007). Sustainable development, higher education and pedagogy: a study of lecturers' beliefs and attitudes. Environmental Education Research, 13(5), 579-597.
Fadeeva, Z., & Mochizuki, Y. (2010). Higher education for today and tomorrow: university appraisal for diversity, innovation and change towards sustainable development. Sustainability Science, 5(2), 249-256.
Haigh, M. J. (2006). Promoting environmental education for sustainable development: The value of links between higher education and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 30(2), 327-349 Huckle, J., & Wals, A. E. (2015). The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: business as usual in the end. Environmental Education Research, 21(3), 491-505.
Lambrechts, W., Mulà, I., Ceulemans, K., Molderez, I., & Gaeremynck, V. (2013). The integration of competences for sustainable development in higher education: an analysis of bachelor programs in management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 48, 65-73.
Leal Filho, W. (2011). About the role of universities and their contribution to sustainable development. Higher Education Policy, 24(4), 427–438.
Lozano, R., Ceulemans, K., Alonso-Almeida, M., Huisingh, D., Lozano, F. J., Waas, T., ... & Hugé, J. (2015). A review of commitment and implementation of sustainable development in higher education: results from a worldwide survey. Journal of Cleaner Production, 108, 1-18.
Lozano, R., Merrill, M. Y., Sammalisto, K., Ceulemans, K., & Lozano, F. J. (2017). Connecting competences and pedagogical approaches for sustainable development in higher education: A literature review and framework proposal. Sustainability, 9(10), 1889.
Pashby, K., & de Oliveira Andreotti, V. (2016). Ethical internationalisation in higher education: interfaces with international development and sustainability. Environmental Education Research, 22(6), 771-787.
Sipos, Y., Battisti, B., & Grimm, K. (2008). Achieving transformative sustainability learning: engaging head, hands and heart. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9(1), 68-86.
Srivastava, A. P. (2017). Teachers' extra role behaviour: relation with self-efficacy, procedural justice, organisational commitment and support for training. International Journal of Management in Education, 11(2), 140-162.
Thomas, I. (2009). Critical thinking, transformative learning, sustainable education, and problem-based learning in universities. Journal of Transformative Education, 7(3), 245-264.
Verhulst, E., & Lambrechts, W. (2015). Fostering the incorporation of sustainable development in higher education. Lessons learned from a change management perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, 189-204.
Wals, A. E., & Jickling, B. (2002). "Sustainability" in higher education: From doublethink and newspeak to critical thinking and meaningful learning. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 3(3), 221-232.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals and sustainability initiatives in higher education
  • Emerging economies’ approaches toward higher education for sustainable science and development in the era of privatisation of higher education
  • Agendas, policy drivers and economic budgeting of governments for higher education
  • Challenges and opportunities of sustainability mechanisms in higher education
  • Government/private university initiatives in sustainable higher education
  • Balanced academic-industry practices for sustainable higher education
  • Internationalisation of higher education and spill-over benefits to host institutions
  • Measurement, research metrics, performance indicators and rankings of higher education institutions (science, technology and management)
  • Role of partnerships (e.g. joint venture foreign universities) and academics events (e.g. conferences, workshops) in imparting sustainable higher education practices
  • Academic/policy debates on infrastructure development, world-class universities, sustainable educational institutions and economic-sustainability linkages
  • Society and culture responses to sustainability initiatives in higher education
  • Role of media and press in sustainable higher education development
  • Ethics and morals-based leadership toward higher education development

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

If you have any queries concerning this special issue, please email the Guest Editors:
Dr. Anugamini P. Srivastava:
Dr. Yatish Joshi:

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 31 July, 2019