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The document analysis of each written curriculum was carried out in two steps.

The first step consisted of reading the qualification profile and the tabular over-view of the programme. If anything remotely connected to sustainability, de-fined by the 37 aspects, the word ”sustainability” itself or even more loosely defined, was found here, a further search for sustainability in the curriculum using the aspects, was carried out.

If any of the study modules in the tabular overview of the programme made a reference to sustainability, the particular module description, with special focus on learning outcomes for the module, was read through and any occurrence of the aspects was noted.

This first level of analysis of the programmes was to ensure that aspects that were identified were appearing in the programmes in a sustainability context.

When a programme was identified to contain elements of sustainability, a more detailed content analysis was carried out in a second step of the examination.

Aspects in their context were identified, using a template for the document anal-ysis (see appendix 1). Each programme description was searched for aspects and their connection was noted. This was done to ensure that the word was actually identified in a sustainability context. As well as searching for the 37 aspects the documents were searched for the term “sustainability” and if the concept itself was found this was noted (along with the number of occurrences) in the sum-mary for the programme.

A summary of the findings from the document analysis is presented in section 4.1.


Following the document analysis a series of interviews with the educational managers were carried out to expand on the findings from the document anal-ysis and to clarify strategic choices and future plans at managerial level.

Interviewees included the Faculty’s dean and the vice dean for education as well as the three heads of schools and chairpersons of the study boards (see figure 3.1). A total of 17 members of educational management were invited for inter-views. If chairpersons were unable to participate they were asked to suggest a

stand-in person, which happened in the cases of Computer Science, Media Tech-nology and Planning and Geography. Only in one case no representative for the study board could be interviewed (Land Surveyor Education). In total 16 inter-views were conducted.

The interviews were carried out as semi-structured interviews using an inter-view guide (see appendix 2).

During the interviews the respondents were provided with the illustration of sustainability, including some of the 37 GRI aspects used in the document anal-ysis (see figure 3.5) and were asked to identify aspects that were relevant to their study programmes.

All interviews were conducted by two interviewers, one of whom participated in all 16 interviews to ensure internal validity. With the permission of the partic-ipants the interviews were recorded and summary transcripts were prepared.

These transcripts were returned to the participants for verification, confirma-tion and for adding further comments if they so wished.


August seminar 2012

As a way of communicating the preliminary findings from phase 1 of the PBL-SUS study a seminar was organised in August 2012. All interview participants were invited to the seminar as well as all members of the 12 study boards under the Faculty, approximately 135 people in total. The number of participants at-tending the seminar was approximately 35.

The two overall aims of the seminar were to share findings about existing prac-tices and interpretations of sustainability at the Faculty and to discuss, in groups of educational planners and managers, possible strategies to move forward to-wards further integration of relevant aspects of sustainability targeted toto-wards different study programmes.

The seminar programme included invited speakers, group discussions and a panel debate. The dean gave a presentation of the Faculty commitment and dis-cussed the need for compliance with the COPERNICUS Charta while the chair-person of the University Environmental Committee presented the work of the committee. Other invited speakers who had been identified through the inter-views presented examples from their study programmes that included substan-tial aspects of sustainability. The seminar concluded with round table discus-sions on possibilities to integrate sustainability, followed by a panel debate on possible strategies at managerial level for this integration.

The seminar invitation brochure, including the programme, is found in appendix 3.

4 Findings in Phase 1

This chapter presents the findings from Phase 1 of the PBL-SUS study. The chap-ter is structured according to the method of data collection used, i.e. the first section describes findings from the document analysis, followed by a presenta-tion of the results from interviews. The last secpresenta-tion describes the key points raised during the August seminar 2012.

Document analysis

A total of 111 study programmes offered under the Faculty of Engineering and Science in spring 2012 were analysed, using the 37 GRI aspects as key words to search for sustainability aspects in the programmes. This presentation of the findings from the document analysis follows the hierarchical structure of the Faculty, i.e. starting with presenting the findings at Faculty level, followed by findings at the school level. The aim of the document analysis was to get an overview of visible and identifiable sustainability contents in the Faculty study programmes, at Faculty and school level. Thus, although the search filter for the document analysis was based on the GRI aspects as key words and findings could have been broken down to the level of individual study boards, this has not been done.