GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Knowledge Sustainability in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia
Paper Proposal Text :
This paper will examine the sustainability issue as viewed by various universities and business schools in Saudi Arabia through their publications and websites. It will investigate to what extent sustainability is present as a distinguished approach or embedded within their development plans, missions and so on or whether there is no evidence to have sustainability in the agenda of higher education institutes.

Sustainability in higher education can be seen from different levels and perspectives. This study will look at the institutional and school level and will be mainly considering knowledge perspective. It will assess how universities can create environments for sustainable knowledge development and implication. It will look to different models and examples of integrating sustainability in universities and business schools trying to benchmark with local universities. The paper will carry on to suggest a model of sustainability integration into higher education based on the current situation of higher education and the different forces they may have from benchmarked institutes. Recently many universities in Saudi Arabia have initiated endowment projects to support their funds as an alternative source of fund other than government support; this can be seen and utilized as the use of endowment project can be seen as evidence to sustainability in financial terms, we can use this in understanding how they might perceive sustainability as a concept in their view. This paper will draw on the concept motivated universities to look for financial alternatives to encourage motivation toward knowledge sustainability. It is claimed that most universities are not contributing significantly in knowledge creation and advancement as they were perceived as teaching universities and this was their main role since founded. Most teaching materials were taken as they are from leading western universities with minimal adaptation to local market. The study is suggesting some short term and long-term activities to embed sustainability business schools. In the short term, schools should aim increased adaptation of imported teaching material, drive student research projects toward knowledge creation rather than reflecting on case studies, enhance currently existing internship programs with clear measures of knowledge acquisition and link between theory and practice. In the long term, schools should aim to increase their input to teaching materials and gradually aim the edge knowledge in field to be locally produced. For increased potential of sustainability plans, schools should carefully work measures and backup plans. It is important to measure and built in success rather than claim achieving sustainability plans without having them integrated in curricula, teaching, and research.