A new academic book, believed to be one of the first in its field, examines environmental sustainability issues and solutions in education abroad, says one of its editors, EIT | Te Pūkenga Principal Academic Dr Pii-Tuulia Nikula.
The book, Sustainable Education Abroad: Striving for Change, was co-edited by Pii-Tuulia and Dr Karen McBride, the President and Founder of Bound International, a company that provides consulting services for higher education study abroad programs to mitigate the impact of travel on climate change. This book is part of the Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards in Action book series.
“The book presents insights and views from academics and scholar-practitioners involved in administering and leading education abroad programmes across the globe to see how different institutions tackle sustainability as it relates to teaching, programme design and administration.”
The Forum on Education Abroad, which has published the book, is a leading United States-based membership association recognised by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the standards development organisation for the education abroad field.
The other books in the Forum on Education Abroad Standards in Action series also tackle important, but often under-explored areas, such as de-colonial perspectives and inclusiveness.
“We have chapters authored by academics and scholar-practitioners, but what is common, is that all chapters are highlighting practical solutions so that the readers of the book can lead sustainability change within their own organisations and institutions.”
For instance, one of the reviewers on the book’s website states that the volume “…significantly advances conversation on sustainability in study abroad. Its chapters deliver a series of insightful, evidence-based and conceptually rich analyses with clear implications for practise in educational practice and leadership”.
Pii-Tuulia and Karen have been working on the book for more than two years and were pleased to receive many more abstracts than they needed for the book.
“We both evaluated and assessed the abstracts in terms of their quality and relevance and the angles to make sure that we had a number of themes and geographical contexts covered. For instance, we wanted to make sure that all the chapters did not discuss teaching design related questions.”
Karen and Pii-Tulia also co-authored two chapters for the book discussing the status quo and future of the field. With regards to how the education abroad industry is embracing sustainability, Pii-Tuulia says that it is “still early days, but we have started to see notable movement now. In just a couple of years we have seen more and more institutions taking sustainability action. This volume conveys urgency and highlights practical solutions which can help the field to take further steps towards a more sustainable future.”