Building sustainable societies through purpose‐driven universities: A case study from ashoka university (India)

Anirban Chakraborty, Sumit Kumar, L. S. Shashidhara, Anjali Taneja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


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 prac-tices. 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 re-views, 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7423
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021


  • Indian higher education
  • Sustainability approaches
  • Sustainability model
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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