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Building a sustainable university: a discussion based on a portuguese university case

Based on the case of a Portuguese university, we discuss views about what should be a Sustainable University (SU) and the processes to institutionalise it. The discussion is built from a literature review on sustainability in higher education, the analysis of institutional documents, campus observation and interviews with different individuals associated with sustainability issues at the university. The studied university acts in the dimensions of sustainability suggested in the literature, but it is clear that the institutionalization process of an effective SU is still in its early phases. Starting from the studied case we suggest strategic actions for universities that seek the transition to SU, which include the adoption of a holistic perspective of SU through discussion and the issue of official documents, the practice of democratic and participatory management, and the establishment of formal means of dialogue with society.

Key words:
Sustainability. Sustainable University; Higher Education Governance

Publicação da Rede de Avaliação Institucional da Educação Superior (RAIES), da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) e da Universidade de Sorocaba (UNISO). Rodovia Raposo Tavares, km. 92,5, CEP 18023-000 Sorocaba - São Paulo, Fone: (55 15) 2101-7016 , Fax : (55 15) 2101-7112 - Sorocaba - SP - Brazil