Regional Development in Latin America as a Way to Promote Education for Sustainable Development: The Case Study of the University of Ibague in Colombia
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Studies in Higher Education (HE) enable an individual to combine different streams of knowledge, such as the specific (subject) knowledge, customs, and experiences, into one. On one hand, this combined knowledge embedded within the cultural, socioeconomic and environmental contexts increases the importance of various social phenomena. On the other hand, the link between these different types of knowledge highlights the importance that the creation of common welfare has not only for individuals linked to HE institutions but also those outside of the university environment and processes. Therefore, we believe that in order to promote Regional development in Latin America, it is essential that universities define their own criteria for sustainable development in HE, which demands from them the implementation of policies and strategies aligned with their own challenges and characteristics. Hence, this study intends to gain a better understanding of the criteria for sustainable development formulated by some HE institutions in Latin America. To gain this understanding, we investigate the case study of the University of Ibagué (Universidad de Ibagué), for which we question whether this university’s proposal for the Regional development (RD) follows the regulation for Sustainable Development Education as specified in the framework for Sustainable Development. Specifically, this study seeks to clarify the University of Ibagué’s strategies for Sustainable Development Education in relation to its commitment to the Regional development in the Department of Tolima whose capital city is Ibague. In addition, this study analyses whether the principles that guide the strategies for the Regional development at the University of Ibagué are aligned with the directives issued by international agencies such as the UN and the UNESCO.