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Environmental student groups and their effect on environmentally sustainable policies in higher education institutions: A comparative case study between a Dutch and a German university

Schwarz, Kelly (2019) Environmental student groups and their effect on environmentally sustainable policies in higher education institutions: A comparative case study between a Dutch and a German university.

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Abstract:This study aims to answer the question: How can differences be explained, between a German and Dutch university, with respect to the influence of environmental student groups on environmentally sustainable policies of their university? Causal-process tracing and Realistic Evaluation allows for tracing the factors of the level of regulation, the type of university, tuition payments, student size and the level of engagement that are presumed to drive the outcomes of the group’s influence toward the decision-making process of the university, the level of interest in environmental student groups and the viability of these groups. The study is approached with a comparative two-case study with one student group from a Dutch and another from a German university. Qualitative data in the form of interviews and documents revealed that the factors are not able to fully explain the outcomes. New factors were found in which the incorporation of policy suggestions from environmental groups is dependent on the willingness of the university leadership. This factor is present under two conditions: Either when there is a high level of personal interest in environmental sustainability of the leadership or a high level of green marketing, the advertisement of the university as being environmentally sustainable to attract more funding and students. Other factors are the level of coordination, the importance of efficient organizing skills to incorporate policy suggestions. In general, the research shows the significance of the institutional context that drives the influence of environmental student groups toward the university leadership in their implementation of environmentally sustainable measures.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science, 70 social sciences in general, 71 sociology, 88 social and public administration
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/78839
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