Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 4990-4999
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.1299
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
The 2030 Agenda was adopted in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly. At its core are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that cover a wide range of multiple social, economic, and environmental global challenges. Universities and lecturers play a crucial role in achieving the SDGs as they train competent students who will acquire skills, knowledge, values, and inspiration to address the goals underlying each SDG in their future professional practice.

In this context, in 2022 an Educational Innovation and Improvement Project (PIME/21-22/281) was launched at the Higher Technical School of Industrial Engineering (ETSII) at Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain, with the aim of implementing the SDGs in the 13 degrees taught at the school. During the first year of the project, a diagnosis of both lecturers and students at the school was intended to determine their level of knowledge about the SDGs, as well as their most common sources of information and training on this topic, and their perception of the importance of the SDGs in their personal and professional lives. For this purpose, two surveys (one for lecturers and one for students) were designed and sent to lecturers and students for completion.

The aim of this article is to analyse the responses selected by respondents to answer the following research questions:
1) what kind of training have participants received about the SDGs?,
2) how much knowledge do participants have about the 2030 Agenda, the SDGs, their targets and the current status of their achievement?,
3) through which sources of information have participants received information about the SDGs?, and
4) to what extent do participants perceive the SDGs to be important in their personal and professional life?

These results were contrasted with the demographic data of the survey participants. In the same way, the results obtained by lecturers and students were compared to determine whether there are significant differences in their knowledge, awareness, and perception.

Among the main results, it stands out that lecturers’ responses revealed a good or very good awareness of Agenda 2030 (40.2%) and the SDGs (51.5%). These percentages decrease to 15.9% and 21.2% respectively, in the students’ survey. In both surveys, the degree of awareness dropped considerably for more specific questions related to SDG targets or indicators. Awareness of the SDG status in both groups is higher in a local context (Engineering School or University) than in Spain as a whole. More than 60% of lecturers agree in the importance of the SDGs in everyday life. On the other hand, while 30% of students agree that the SDGs are important for their daily life, 75% are convinced of their importance for their professional career.

It is significant that more than 50% of lecturers consider that they can contribute as a citizen or as a lecturer to the achievement of the SDGs. In the same way, more than 50% of the lecturers consider that SDGs should be integrated in the contents of the subjects, as well as in the bachelor’s and master’s degree thesis.

Finally, taking into account that more than 70% of lecturers consider that Universitat Politècnica de València plays a key role in the achievement of the SDGs, the results of this study can be useful to develop teaching and learning methodologies, training activities and awareness campaigns in order to involve the university community in the achievement of the SDGs. The latter is, ultimately, the aim of the aforementioned Educational Innovation and Improvement Project leaded by the authors.
2030 Agenda, sustainable development goals, higher education, engineering school, lecturers, students, survey, Likert scale.