Aligning Green Campus Initiative (GCI) to Envision 2030 and graduate attributes at the Durban University of Technology (DUT)

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Dumsile Hlengwa , et. al.


The United Nations wants to see institutions of higher learning taking a leading role in making its sustainability agenda come to life and build resilience on their campuses and in their local communities. This is so because the sustainability agenda influences behaviour and alters mindsets about resource utilisation and consumption patterns, and institutions of higher learning as centres of learning and research are aptly positioned to facilitate this agenda. This paper looked into the place of Green Campus Initiative (GCI) in the sustainability agenda, its adoption by the leadership of universities, challenges experienced by practitioners and possible solutions to these challenges. Virtual interviews were conducted with practitioners attached to residences and questionnaire were used to collect data from 50 student members using Microsoft Teams as data were collected during Covid-19 alert level 3 when social distancing had to be practised. The study found that while the uptake of GCI was enthusiastic at the beginning after the launch by the Minister of Higher Education, practitioners faced many challenges stemming from the lack of appropriate policies, which resulted in GCI being implemented on an ad hoc basis, with no dedicated department, staff or funding. What the study found encouraging was that matters of sustainability are enshrined in the university’s new strategic plan, Envision 2030, implied in its graduate attributes and that GCI activities would help the university achieve all its graduate attributes. A study of this nature will bring GCI challenges to the attention of the executive leadership and hopefully enhance full-scale implementation.

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