Ashoka University: Leading Liberal Arts and Sciences University

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Building Sustainable Societies through Purpose-driven Universities: A Case Study from Ashoka University

  • SPI - White Papers, Articles & Perspectives
  • October 4, 2021
  • Anjali Taneja, Anirban Chakraborty, L S Shashidhara, Anirban Chakraborty, Sumit Kumar, L.S.Shashidhara, Anjali Taneja
  • Anirban Chakraborty, Sumit Kumar, L.S.Shashidhara, Anjali Taneja

Sustainable Development (SD) is the universal essentiality of present times, and universities have a critical role in implementing this initiative through their functioning, policies and practices. To integrate SD goals, universities should have a global outlook that is still locally rooted in its strategies. In the last decade, various theories and recommendations have been proposed and adopted globally for integrating sustainability in higher education systems. In India, environmental education has been mandated at all formal levels in the education system. Still, there is a strong argument that it is not simply a matter of overhauling syllabi and curricula. Instead, universities should be incorporating SD goals into their research and their own operations. Our study aims to investigate the sustainability model of Ashoka University (India) that approaches its commitment through sustainability-focused courses, research, and operations. This study involves an in-depth literature review and uses an established framework to assess the condition of the university towards sustainability issues. Our case study employed observations, data collections, document reviews, and interactions with different stakeholders. The study concludes that the university is mostly in adherence with the framework at this stage. Critical areas of future development within the framework are proposed considering the global context. This research serves as an entry point for evaluating sustainability issues of the Indian higher education system, and hopes to motivate higher education communities to do further research to improve their sustainability performance and their role as agents of change.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka