The Need for Sustainable Universities in Cyprus: The Social, Economic, and Environmental Urgency

By Antonios Maragakis.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The island of Cyprus is the easternmost E.U. country located at a geographic crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. The problematic political situation, sudden economic expansion, and sensitivity to climate change make the country an ideal case study for the need of sustainable development and the role of higher education in realizing this change. Although sustainable development may be critical for Cyprus, the social, economic, and environmental sectors have been relatively slow to react. The government has laid forth a strategic plan for sustainable development, however significant barriers seem to exist both in the implementation and public acceptance of sustainable initiatives. This lag is also noticed in the vague stance of universities in Cyprus towards sustainability. This paper looks to present selected issues regarding sustainable development in Cyprus and focus on the important role of higher education in realizing this necessary change. Initially, research conducted on universities in Cyprus reveals deficiencies in the implementation of clear and transparent sustainable policies.These deficiencies are detrimental to sustainable development in Cyprus considering the relative literature supporting universities as the catalyst of change. The results and discussions make the case that universities need to provide specific policies regarding sustainability in order to promote sustainable development in a clear and accountable way.

Keywords: Cyprus, Sustainable Development, Higher Education, Universities

The International Journal of Sustainability Education, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.51-58. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 452.376KB).

Antonios Maragakis

Director of Business School, Senior Lecturer, School of Business, MKC City College, Larnaca, Cyprus

Antonios Maragakis is the director of the Business School and a senior lecturer at MKC City College, Larnaca. A graduate of economics, civil engineering and international construction management, Mr. Maragakis is also active as a visiting lecturer for graduate students at Neapolis University and a business consultant for various green businesses in the US, EU and Africa. Mr. Maragakis is the coordinator for the European Network of Sustainable Regions representing both Greece and Cyprus. He has also taken part in various Cypriot, Greek and American research for both the private and public sector, dealing with advancements of sustainability and assessment of sustainable features. Mr. Maragakis is currently undertaking his PhD at the Technical University of Delft with his research focusing on the creation of a universally applicable and fully sustainable university model.