Innovating campus sustainability projects through international collaborative engagements


Implemented in the context of the Talloires Declaration, the showcased project will highlight aspects of active partnership and staff engagement critical in developing crossborder sustainability programs. Greening initiatives are challenging, requiring determination and long-term commitments from the entire campus community. This venture was the result of the dedication of academic staff, two from each university, with support from the senior management of the overseas institution, and the direct involvement of its Rector. As a result, sustainability activities in higher education were taken to new levels as the concept was developed into an educational trip combining international collaborations, community engagement and environmental management. The main objectives were to offer a platform for students from Australia and Vietnam to jointly develop proposals to improve the physical environment of the Vietnamese campus, and disseminate the message of sustainability to the community. In pitching the idea to the senior management of Tra Vinh University (TVU), the project was framed in terms of the lack of prioritisation of environmental solutions and insufficient awareness programs in rural Vietnam. The message from the proponents was that the Green Campus concept would provide the university with an opportunity to take the lead in Vietnam in the rethinking of an environmental culture and the development of new standards for addressing problems that are local and national. The outcomes of the pilot trip largely exceeded the expectations, and the responsiveness of the Vietnamese hosts was exemplary, culminating in the university organising a regional conference on sustainability and education for teachers

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Swinburne Research Bank

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This paper was published in Swinburne Research Bank.

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