Awareness and perception of the environmental sustainability of the UAE University campus: a case study of sustainability course

Mohammed Albattah, Lindita Bande

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to investigate the entry-level student’s awareness of environmental sustainability focussing on the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) campus and measure the effectiveness of the course materials. A comparison between the students who took the general education sustainability (GESU 121) course face to face and the ones who tool it online was applied. Design/methodology/approach: This study was descriptive in nature, and the data is obtained using a cross-sectional survey of the students attending the UAEU in 2020. The data collection was done in two semesters, Spring 2020 [face-to-face class] and Fall 2020 [online class, after COVID-19 effect]. A total of 160 participants responded to the survey. The Pearson’s Chi-square test for independence was conducted and used to identify if any statistical differences exist between the studied variables. Findings: This study revealed that the awareness of environmental sustainability was increased in both groups [face-to-face students and online students], after taking the course. In addition, around 80% of the students were interested to participate in sustainability initiatives on the UAEU campus. The students’ perception of the statements about the UAEU campus environmental sustainability varied from Spring 2020 (53.3% were not sure that the UAEU campus is environmentally sustainable) to Fall 2022 (63% of the online students believed that the campus is environmentally sustainable). Originality/value: Students’ awareness and perception are very important to improve the environmental sustainability of the University campus. The novelty of this study is to examine the awareness of entry-level students among the environmental sustainability focussing on the UAEU campus and examine the effect of COVID-19 [online classes] on delivering the course knowledge. The findings of this study provide the information for the improvement of the course for the future semesters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Campus
  • Face-to-face classes
  • Online teaching
  • Pandemic
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development
  • UAE University
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education


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