Details for Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Type of Organization
Type of Education
Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Doctoral
Institution is part of
Department of Economics
Sign Up Date to PRME
22 Jul 2013
Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission
09 Mar 2017
Sharing Information on Progress (2017)
Period Covered: Mar 2015 to Mar 2017
The Commitment to Sustainable Development for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences is declared in this (the first of its kind) report (March 9th 2017). We are happy to be part of the PRME community and we are inspired by the information provided on the web page and in other universities ambitious reports.
Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
The Department of Economics at the Swedish University of Sciences (SLU) offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Economics and Business Administration. Our masters programs are geared towards food and fiber production management and economics. We offer courses and programs that support SLU’s over-all mission, “SLU develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources”. This is achieved in research, education and environmental monitoring and assessment, in collaboration with the surrounding community.
In the graduate program, the higher level courses are integrated with areas where we do research – connected to: value chains, industrial networks, entrepreneurship and environmental management.
The curriculum is integrated not only with research but also with a dialogue with stakeholders outside the university setting, such as authorities, NGOs, business and other academic institutions.
Pedagogical approaches range from classical lectures, to projects and integration of societal current challenges in seminars, cases and discussions. Courses are subject related but not fixed in their content, which offers flexibility to adapt the courses continuously.
In each course, the material covered is adapted to the current development in society. Course books, readings for seminars, external lecturers – all of these reflect ambitions to embrace global sustainability management challenges.
A number of classes rest on the epistemological standpoint of “the triple bottom line”, which embraces sustainable development and the understanding of corporate conduct as a socially created phenomenon.
Quality assessments are made internally continuously in anonymously filled out course evaluations and externally by the Swedish Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket). The Director of Studies at the Department of Economics manages the teacher team, in daily operations as well as strategic investments in pedagogical courses.
Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
Although our vision statement for the Department of Economics does not clearly express objectives related to sustainable development, much of our research and educational curriculum reflect an awareness of moral and responsibility issues. The vision reads as “Our vision is to be a leading European institution in economic, historical and applied statistics research, as well as in policy analysis and academic education within the agricultural, resource, and environmental sectors. We strive for the highest scientific quality, skill and proficiency, professionalism, reputation, and creative thinking. Politicians, authorities, press and public are looking for and using our knowledge and our results - we are a central element in their value creation.”
Looking at the courses in our master’s program instead will clearly illustrate an awareness of the needs for sustainable development perspectives in our curriculum. Examples of courses are: Environmental and Social Responsibility Marketing, Ethics, Environmental Risk Management, Environmental Policy and Quality and Environmental Management.
At a faculty level efforts are made to stimulate interdisciplinary work in research as well as in educational programs. It may refer to collaboration in advisory services and course work. This collaboration implies dialogues over subject, faculty and university borders.
Students also have the option of studying at other universities in double degree / exchange programs, taking a year abroad that is given credit in the SLU-program and taking courses at other Swedish universities. Even if we have an extensive set of courses, mandatory courses as well as selective courses, we realize that we may not meet the expectations of each student.
The master’s project is perhaps the most adapted course – with regards to sustainable development and individual interests of the students. There is a significant degree of freedom in picking a research topic for the thesis projects. All of our thesis reports are published open source (in Epsilon).
Our future objectives are related to being a part of an increased understanding of sustainable development as an academic institution that offers courses, advisory services, research and outreach that has high quality and is relevant for society