Evaluation of Sustainability and its Impact on the Performance of Private and Accredited Higher Education Institutions in Medellín

Project Details


Higher Education Institutions (IES) have two challenges, to contribute to sustainable development and to be competitive worldwide. Against them, HEIs are incorporating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and consolidating the high quality and financing of their substantive processes. This is how private HEIs in particular have adopted corporate strategies that affect their performance and differentiation. However, this integration of sustainability in private HEIs is still little known in Colombia and, therefore, lacks reference models for organizational management. In this context, the following question arises: How does university sustainability affect the performance of high-quality private universities in Medellin? To answer this question, an inter-institutional research is proposed with the aim of analyzing the process of incorporating sustainability in high-quality private universities in Medellín, through a multivariate analysis that allows explaining its impact on organizational performance. This analysis requires understanding the concepts of ESD in higher education and Corporate Sustainability (SC). The EDS shows that HEIs have focused their efforts to incorporate sustainability in the operation of the campus and teaching, but have not considered the university system as a whole. This holistic vision of the private university that ESD lacks would be within the reach of CS, which seeks to integrate the economic, social and environmental components with organizational performance, emphasizing resources and capacities, and the positioning and relationship of the university with its interest groups. The proposed methodology comprises a quantitative investigation in which, using a proven instrument, data will be obtained for the participating universities and a multivariate analysis will be carried out that allows inferring the sustainability factors that affect in performance. These factors will finally be integrated through a sustainability management model adapted to the local competitive conditions of private universities. This proposal has two antecedents. First, an investigation completed and financed by the University of Medellin, entitled "Sustainability baseline for the accreditation of programs at the University of Medellin." Second, a doctoral thesis in progress attached to the doctorate in Administration at the University of Medellin, entitled "Sustainability and performance in accredited higher education institutions: a comparative analysis of private universities in Medellin." In the first investigation, an exploration of the state of sustainability was carried out at the University of Medellín, which is being deepened in the doctoral thesis to be compared with the EAFIT university. The new proposal seeks to expand the sample to the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, the CES University and the EIA University. These universities make up the group of accredited private universities belonging to the G8 of Medellín.


General: Establish the impact of sustainability on the performance of high-quality private universities in Medellin Specific: • Characterize the perception of sustainability and university performance in high-quality private universities in Medellin, through the application of validated instruments. • Compare the status of sustainability and performance in the private universities of Medellin through a model of structural equations that allows explaining the impact of sustainability on university performance for each of the participating universities. • Develop a model of sustainability and university performance for private universities with high Medellin quality.

Expected results

The tactical model that the project will generate seeks to propose a tool for the improvement and updating of institutions and programs, in such a way that there is an integration and innovation to be shown in the processes that have an impact on improving performance, such as accreditation. As mentioned, the impact of students, graduates, professors, and research in the environment is important for these processes. By having this clarity, it will be possible to impact the management and self-regulation of the programs that will give a differential to the programs of the high-quality private universities of Medellín. Additionally, the result of this research will be able to position the universities as sustainable universities, in accordance with the scope and goals of institutional sustainability policies, such as participation in GreenMetric and the Global Compact.
Effective start/end date7/07/2030/07/22


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