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“I’m not sure what it is, but it is important” - Analysis of the Attitudes of Students of University of Rijeka in Terms of Sustainable Development

Author(s): Nena Rončević | Jasminka Ledić | Bojana Ćulum

Journal: Suvremene teme : Contemporary Issues
ISSN 1847-2397

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 62;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: education for sustainable development | student attitudes towards sustainable development

The theoretical part of this paper consists of a coherent overview of different approaches and definitions of sustainable development and analyses of the role that higher education institutions (should) play in promoting the sustainable development. Furthermore, relevant research results regarding this concept are presented. The empiricalpart of paper analyses results of a pilot study conducted in 2007 at the University of Rijeka on a sample of 105 students. The objective of this study was to examine the level of awareness and understanding of the concept of sustainable development, as well as to investigate the attitudes and behaviors related to some aspects of thisconcept. The main hypothesis how students are not familiar with the concept of sustainable development and how, consequently, their attitudes and life habits do not give necessary guaranty needed for this approach, has been confirmed. In other words, most of the examinees cannot define sustainable development. The examinees perceive schools as having the lowest responsibility in the promotion of the idea of sustainable development. According to their opinion, the media and civil society institutions have a considerable role while the maximal responsibility lies on the political level.Students regard political willingness as the first step in the promotion of sustainable development, from where it can spread throw society. Without initial activity from the political level the promotion of the idea of sustainable development is not possible.

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