Higher Education Politics

We believe that many Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) profess to operate sustainable campuses and systems, but in practice often fall short. HEIs have an opportunity to pioneer and serve as leaders in sustainability for educational institutions around the world, as well as for society at large. The potential global impact is enormous.

And we believe that sustainable HEIs start with you!

As students, we have a unique ability to influence the decision-makers at our schools. Whether you are working alone or with an entire team at your school, you have an opportunity to meet with your school and make change.

Where to begin?

The best place to start on HEI politics is to get an understanding of who the stakeholders at your institution are. This guide to power-mapping will help you map out who is who, and how to best approach them.

Using that guide, you can develop a game plan of who approach, how, and when.

What are our demands?

Now that you know who you will approach, what will you say? SWS has created a demand paper that outlines the argument for why HEIs should pursue sustainable agendas and breaks down many actions that each Institution can take.

You, the student, can also adjust to fit your school’s needs. For example, if they have already accomplished a number of action steps, you can highlight that in the paper before you send it to the administration. In this paper, a list of suggested action steps is also color-coded by urgency, which can help Institutions prioritize.  

It’s on us to ask our institutions to adopt more sustainable policies and practices, so we at SWS work hard to make sure you have everything you need to be a strong and effective advocate. If you would like support or materials for your HEI, please contact or for more information.

HEIs where Sustainability Weeks take place

Basel: University of Basel, FHNW
Bern: University of Bern, PH Bern, BFH
Chur:. HTW Chur, PH Chur
Fribourg: University of  Fribourg, EESP, EHL, ECAL (2020)
Geneva: University of Geneva, IHEID
Lausanne: EPFL, University of Lausanne
Locarno: SUPSI

Lucerne: HSLU, University of Lucerne, PHLU
Lugano:
  Franklin University
Neuchâtel: University of Neuchâtel
Rapperswil: HSR
St. Gallen: HSG, FH SG, PH SG
Valais: Les Roches
Zürich: ETH, UZH, ZHAW, PHZH, ZHDK