Sustainability higher education in the context of Bearn’s University of Beauty

Le Grange, Lesley (2020-12-16)

CITATION: Le Grange, L. 2020. Sustainability higher education in the context of Bearn’s University of Beauty. Sustainability, 12(24):10533, doi:10.3390/su122410533.

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Sustainability and its relationship with education has been the subject of much contestation in recent decades. This article reviews some of the debates on sustainability in the context of higher education and raises concern about the narrowing of the discourse on sustainability and sustainability education in the neoliberal university. The methods used in this article are philosophical, combining traditional concept analysis with concept creation. The later method holds that philosophical concepts are created or reimagined so that they have transformative effects in the world. The key finding of this conceptual exploration is that sustainability (education) can be liberated from the fetters of neoliberalism and can be imagined differently. This might be possible in the “University of Beauty”. Moreover, the potential for reimagining sustainability higher education already exists within the neoliberal university and in those who inhabit it. This is because sustainability higher education and those who inhabit the neoliberal university are always in the process of becoming. The article concludes that the present generation of students should be viewed as key role players in rethinking sustainability higher education.

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