Values and Competences Related to Sustainability among Engineering Students

Jussi-Pekka Teini, Anne-Marie Tuikka, Veli-Pekka Pyrhönen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Current estimations e.g. on climate change and loss of biodiversity have transformed sustainability as one of the most influential global trends. For example, universities promote sustainability as their core value and include sustainability related content in their curricula. These actions are consistent with SDGs (Sustainable Development
Goals) proposed by United Nations. Engineers are essential for achieving SDGs since their skills and know-how are required to present estimations, develop and implement technological solutions and transform processes. Accordingly, engineering education is in key role to foster these competences and related values.
Hence, we study in this paper values and competences related to sustainability among engineering students in Finland. Our research questions are: How do engineering
students perceive the importance of sustainable development for their future
professional career and how have they developed in studies? Are engineering
students willing to advance SDGs as part of their upcoming career? To answer these questions, data from two separate surveys are analysed. The data of the first survey was collected during 2016–2018, which focused on engineering students on the brink of graduation. The second survey focused on engineering students from the second year onwards and the data was collected in 2019. The preliminary analysis shows that engineering students do not perceive sustainability as an important competence in engineering careers. Accordingly, their competences related to sustainability evolve less during studies compared with other engineering skills and competences. However, students expressed their will to advance sustainable development through their professional careers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe proceedings of the SEFI 48th Annual Conference, 2020
Subtitle of host publicationEngaging Engineering Education
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke ten Dam
PublisherEuropean Society for Engineering Education SEFI
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-020-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventSEFI Annual Conference - University of Twente (online), Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Sep 202024 Sep 2020


ConferenceSEFI Annual Conference
Internet address


  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development
  • Competences

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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