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Top achievement with SustainaBul 2019: HAS University of Applied Sciences rises from 16th to 4th

The biggest plus, is the way HAS University of Applied Sciences linked the Sustainable Development (Goals SDGs) to education and research.

HAS University of Applied Sciences shot up in the SustainaBul rankings: from 16th to 4th place. The SustainaBul is a student initiative that rewards sustainability within education and produces the annual sustainability rankings. Unique about the rankings is that it’s the students who assess the participating higher education institutions, making the SustainaBul the largest student review of how students think higher education institutions are handling sustainability. The SustainaBul has a total of 20 questions in 4 categories: education, research, operational management and integrated approach. The SustainaBul list was presented during the National Day for Sustainability in Higher Education on 24 May.

Significant improvement

Elseline Schouten, team leader at HAS Services, was closely involved in preparing the entry of HAS University of Applied Sciences, and received the 4th place certificate on behalf of HAS University of Applied Sciences. She’s delighted with the result and proud of the improvement in the rankings. “The biggest plus is the way HAS University of Applied Sciences has linked the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to education and research. And, when it comes to operational management, we have been giving sustainability more attention over the past few years. Of course, there are also areas for improvement. For example, we want to create a multi-year plan for our own operational management, with clear, attainable goals with respect to sustainability. There are also plans to set up a Green Office. This would help a lot to increase student involvement, as well as in our collaboration with other educational institutions and the local council, for example.”

First prize for TU/e

This year, Wageningen University & Research came out as the most sustainable higher education institution in the Netherlands. However, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) won the main prize. This is because this year it wasn’t the most sustainable institution that won the SustainaBul 2019, but the institution that provided the best ’best practice for sustainable higher education’ under question 19 or 20. In their decision to make this award, Students for Tomorrow, the SustainaBul organisers, is responding to the wishes of higher education institutions themselves. They want to be able to learn from one another and prefer the focus to be on information exchange, rather than on the competition element of the rankings. And it’s clear that we can all learn from TU/e.