Sustainability: Criteria and Decision-Making course.



Organizations/areas of the university involved

The Green Office of King Juan Carlos University and the whole university community in general, more focused on students.


The Academic Credit Recognition course “Sustainability: Criteria and Decision-Making”, is an activity available for all bachelor’s students who belong to King Juan Carlos University (+ 40,000 potential students). The main objective: achieve to educate sustainable professionals
regardless their background or studies origin, promoting awareness and knowledge about sustainability from education about sustainable development. The purpose of the course is to accomplish our students to acquire the capacity to integrate sustainability criteria as a basic element in decision-making. Considering those, we consider Sustainable Developmental Goals of 2030 agenda of United Nations an essential tool.
Our course is done by students coming from different academic backgrounds, so we contemplate urgent to develop an intrinsic vision about sustainability in the university community in all its areas: social, environmental and economic. We want to create consciousness that sustainability covers all levels of society and that its knowledge and application is fundamental both for student’s professional future and as human beings. SDG are a key instrument to achieve those aims and ease to create a responsibility feeling because the whole university community is represented there.
SDG are integrated in the course units and in the subsequent evaluation of it, as test questions. More specifically, on unit one it is mentioned in especial through videos and didactic content related to 2030 agenda and SDG. In unit three, it is exposed a series of audiovisual contents obtained from United Nations where it is exposed the Sustainable Developmental Goal which is the main subject of the video. All of this frame formation in sustainable development.
The steps that we have taken to implement SDG are the following: becoming familiar with 2030 agenda, knowledge and research about every SDG exposed, focusing mostly on the goals and balancing the content of the course covering every ambit of sustainability. We end up showing in the content applied or practice examples, which have been done by United Nations with SDG.

Results and impact measured or expected

• The Academic Credit Recognition course: “Sustainability: Criteria and Decision-Making” until nowadays (January 2019), has been done by 10,604 students. Of those students, approximately 88% had had a positive or very positive opinion of the course.

• Some university centers have showed interest on applying our course in the academic content that they offer to their own students. From CRUE Sustainability, it has been made an agreement with King Juan Carlos University for applying the content of the course and integrate it in others universities. At an international level, also it has been requested with the same purpose in the Chilean university association, composed of ten universities.

• The Academic Credit Recognition course: “Sustainability: Criteria and Decision-Making” has been referenced and presented as an example of a good practice in events related with sustainability.

• An 89% of the students consider necessary or very necessary the education in sustainable development by the university.

Connection with the SDG framework

Sustainability, main topic of the course, it is reflected in all its levels in the 17 SDG. Because of that, we emphasize in reiterated occasions about the 17 SDG, with the thought of achieving the whole university community, regardless of their academic background or studies origin. Talking from sustainable development, our intention is to present it from the view of SDG, both in the education about sustainable development and as a formation approach about how to become a sustainable professional.

Barriers and follow up

The impartation of the course started in March 2016 as a mandatory activity for new students. However, in October 2017 the regulation was modified, deciding that the complete of the course as “voluntary”, since its still current the obligation to impart Academic Credit Recognition courses, letting to choose three of the five offered by the university.
We plant to do a survey to last year students to find out if we have been able to teach them as sustainable professionals. It’s pretended to introduce an evaluable question in Bachelor’s and Masters final projects about sustainability, related to SDG, and how they had applied sustainability in their work and its contribution to the goals. Finally, we claim to realize until what level SDG are integrated in plan studies, both in the contents as skills.

Updated April 2019 by Consuelo Iriarte Campo