Towards an orientation of higher education in the post Rio+20 process: How is the game changing?




Beynaghi, F. Moztarzadeh, R. Maknoon, T. Waas, M. Mozafari, J. Hugé, W. Leal Filho


Futures (63), Pages 49–67,


November 2014


Sustainability and Higher Education

Nowadays, higher education is taken into consideration as one of the leading global industries, which plays a critical role in nations’ ability to compete and succeed. The power in higher education might well influence on the political power balance around the world. Therefore, a large number of countries, particularly the developed ones, develop and adjust their macro policies in order to improve and reinforce their higher education.

It is obvious that the future orientation of higher education is under the influences of several driving forces. Many authorities believe that sustainable development is a major driving force that can change the universities’ performance toward co-creating a sustainable world. Analyzing the different universities performance shows that nowadays, this transition is taking place so that “co-creation for sustainability” is an emerging mission for universities.

In recent years, Amirkabir University of Technology (AUT) has created a strong linkage between sustainable development and higher education by changing its main strategies to achieve sustainable development goals. Office of sustainability as a pioneer has tried to embed sustainability in AUT and then implement in society. “Sustainability and Higher Education Group” has played a facilitative role in achieving the goals through:

1.Monitoring the sustainability activities in different universities with a global view

2.Providing a green strategic framework based on futures studies and sustainability principles with respect to long-term future of AUT

3.Combination of sustainability and futures studies with others fields, and

4.Holding sustainability and higher education conferences

Moreover, future plan of this group are:


1.Analyzing and assessing sustainability in Iranian universities

  1. Creating an information network between different components of higher education in Iran
  1. Back casting scenarios for sustainable AUT 2030
  1. Drawing a flexible roadmap to achieve the sustainable scenarios for AUT 2030

Higher Education and Sustainable Development Conference

Higher Education and Sustainable Development Conference to be held at Amirkabir University of Technology on Tuesday, March 1st, 2012. All pundits and experts are invited to submit their original papers by the 10th of February to the secretariat of the conference by email at You can also download articles format from this link.

Conference axes:

Higher Education in the 21st Century

 1. Fundamentals of Sustainable Development

2. The relationship between higher education and sustainable development from the past to the present.

3. The Role of University and Sustainable Development in the Future.

4. The Role, Responsibility and Impact of the University on the Future (At Local, National, Regional and International Level).

Higher education and the challenges of sustainable development

1. Pathology of University Education and Research in Sustainable Development.

2. The Role of the University in Crisis Forecasting (Environmental, Social, Economic Crisis, etc.).

3. The Relationship between Higher Education and the Green Economy for Sustainable Development.

4. Sustainable University Principles.

Sustainable Development: Developed countries and developing countries

  1. Comparing the Relationship between Higher Education and Sustainable Development in Developing and Developed Countries.
  2. The role of the Academy of Sciences in promoting sustainable development.
  3. The Role of Scientific Societies in Expanding the Sustainable Development Approach.

Sponsors: Amir Kabir University of Technology, Office of Sustainable Development Amir Kabir University of Technology, Environmental Specialists Association, academy of sciences of the Islamic republic of Iran, Iranian Scientific Development Population.


Amirkabir University of Sustainable Development Office contact number:   64545009

Click here for the poster of the conference call.

For more information on the conference call 09332458147

Holding a meeting on higher education and sustainability by the Scientific Development Society of Iran

The Scientific Development Society of Iran on Wednesday, December 14, hosted experts and enthusiasts in the discussion of “higher education and sustainability.” In this meeting, Dr. Reza Maknoon, Professor of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, gave a speech.

At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Jafar Tawfiqi, President of the Society, while welcoming and thanking the presence of interested people who accepted the invitation of the Association and participated in the symposium, said: Its main purpose is to review and critique the scientific policies of the country and provide feedback to legislators, policymakers and officials to improve them. Given the impact of higher education and universities and their role in the development of the country and that this role is becoming more prominent every day, Iranian Scientific Development Society has an important issue on the agenda and has a wide network with a wide range of specialists and experts in this field, faculty members, doctoral and postgraduate students, and discusses issues affecting the scientific destiny of the country.

To read more of this report, refer to the website of the Scientific Development Society of Iran at the following address:

Report of Symposiums: Higher Education and Sustainability

Meeting pictures