Through education, research, and other aspects of the work we do, University West is actively involved in contributing to Sweden’s sustainable development. Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is one way of generating knowledge by working with the surrounding community to find long-term solutions to the challenges facing us as a society. WIL has a natural connection to Agenda 2030 and the global, national, and regional goals for a sustainable future, on which that agenda is based. Achieving sustainable development that meets current needs without jeopardising those of future generations requires us to manage a long list of large-scale and complex ecological, social and economic challenges. For this reason, University West in its role as an institution of higher learning must shoulder the responsibility this involves and become part of the solution.
The university’s work with sustainable development and Agenda 2030 is thus a pervasive project for change and quality assurance at all levels. It involves co-workers, students, and collaboration partners. The aim is to achieve a sustainable culture in which sustainable development and global goals are a natural point of departure. Wide-ranging collaboration creates the basis for sustainable solutions that integrate the social, economic, and ecological dimensions of sustainability. The sustainability project at our university is also a tool in our efforts to defend and protect democratic values.
University West’s overarching goals for sustainable development are to:
- offer a high-quality education that, grounded in scientific method, develops students’ ability to contribute to sustainable development.
- conduct research of the highest scientific quality that is carried out in a sustainable manner and contributes to identifying, increasing knowledge of, and solving social challenges globally.
- encourage and provide employees and students with the resources for working toward sustainable development.
- collaborate with partners who are working toward sustainable development and initiate collaboration in this area.
- integrate social, ecological, and economic sustainability into the university’s support processes as well as the physical premises.
The efforts made toward these goals are grounded in scientific method, collaboration with our students and various external actors, as well as systematic sustainability leadership. University West should be an institution known for ‘practicing what it preaches’, taking preventative measures, always trying to improve, and one that follows applicable legislation. It is a question of credibility and requires a declaration of commitment from the university’s leadership as well as active cooperation from the university’s employees and students. Annual planning takes place according to a decision-making process that is outlined in the management system and where the policy that has been decided upon is clarified in the university’s strategy for sustainable development.