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Title: Higher education and the transition to a sustainable future : a comparative study of factors shaping response
Author: Hume, Marie Therese
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 0948
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis argues that complex societal challenges regarding the future sustainability of humanity pose a major impetus for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), as primary sites of knowledge creation and dissemination within society, The core question to be answered regards the identification of the patterns of forces shaping the response, and response-ability (Sterling 2009), of HEIs on the island of Ire and to this impetus. This question is addressed primarily via a comparative case study, examining the factors shaping and inhibiting trajectories of change towards a more 'sustainable' configuration in higher education system s in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland over the time period of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). Each case comprises a higher education institution in its broader policy context. A framework, adopting and building on insights from a number of strands of socio-technical transition theory is used to drive data gathering and qualitatively analyse and compare the two cases, thus eliciting patterns of inter-related forces at different levels driving, shaping, inhibiting and blocking response. This framework also incorporates an analysis of the broader contextual landscape in which these two cases are embedded, in order to identify how broader landscape forces translate to policy and organisational levels. The transitions approach is augmented with analyses of higher education and sustainability discourses in order to incorporate considerations of the contested nature of sustainability, and illustrate how global higher education discourses influence policy and organisational strategy, and thus circumscribe HE1 response. It thus contributes to scholarly debate and policymaking through demonstrating how change may be enabled or constrained in different ways and at different levels in Irish higher education systems,
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available