Teachers consider universities should educate for sustainable development
Vice-rectors and heads of Administration and Finance of Latin American universities met at INTEC, to exhaust a program of activities on environmental management and sustainability
SANTO DOMINGO. -More than 30 representatives of universities in Latin America they spoke in the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC) about the good management practices and environmental sustainability, During the Fifth Meeting Vice Chancellors and Responsible for Administration and Finance, of the member academies of the Interuniversity Development Center (TAPE).
“As the population increases, natural resources decrease and the great challenge we have as universities is to educate to change awareness towards sustainability,” said Faustina Varela, professor at INTEC, during the opening conference.
Daniel García, professor of the doctorate in Environmental Sciences of INTEC, pondered that social systems, economic and political they have destructured the natural systems, And the solution it's in the sustainable development.
"It is not nature that has problems, it is the social and economic system that has generated them by escaping the rules and laws of nature," Garcia said, while maintaining that the challenge of universities is to generate change social through an educational change.
The role of higher education in sustainability is in move from environmental education to teaching for sustainable development, and its challenges are to critically examine the types of competencies, commitment to society and the role in knowledge creation, technology transfer and institutional influence.
“Universities must incorporate sustainability as one of the guiding principles of academic activity, implement sustainability through university and curricular environmentalization, and generate university-society interaction ”.
Meanwhile, Josefina Vásquez, coordinator of the Sub Area of Environment, presented the project INTEC Sustainable Campus, which emerged in the 2014 and focuses on the electricity generation through renewable energy and the Solid waste management, of water and waste.
In addition, the plan focuses on actions such as biodiversity conservation implementation of a collection center and the undergraduate and graduate training in environment. “We have installed 1,300 solar panels, which produce around 20% of energy consumption of INTEC, to reduce the carbon dioxide footprint and climate impact ”.
“With our programs we intend to contribute to a more and better informed society. And although many challenges remain, from INTEC we are opening the windows to a more sustainable world, ”said Vásquez.
On your side, Soledad Aravena, program director CINDA University Policy and Managementstressed that the environmental and sustainability issue is very relevant for the region. "The contributions that universities can give is, without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges, in addition to incorporating them as axes of the academies."
Aravena said that the purpose is that all the representatives of the universities that participate in the fifth meeting of the CINDA take specific and nutritious results, which are projected in concrete actions.
Rolando M. Guzmán, rector of INTEC said that it is really a matter of satisfaction to gather such a select group of educational leaders in an area of such relevance as the environmental issue.
“Over many years, INTEC has seen in this network an ideal space for institutional learning, through the exchange of experiences, information flow and collective reflection,” he said.
Guzmán said that INTEC has a long way to go and the task requires nurturing the experiences of other institutions that share the will to be better and better, and at the same time, of course, recalled that INTEC is better able to share. their experiences for the benefit of other academies.
The Interuniversity Development Center is a collaborative network integrated by more than 40 institutions of higher education in Latin America. He started his activities at 1971 with the purpose of promoting links between universities and generating, systematizing and disseminating knowledge, which allows him to contribute to the development of higher education policies and university management.