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Higher education institutions are confronting new challenges to incorporate a new approach based on sustainability. This challenge is not only about teaching values, but it is about building new ideas, skills, and worldviews. It is the responsibility of our institution to educate human resources, gifted with knowledge, and able to understand their reality based on sustainability.

Quality and sustainable education are some of the guiding principles proposed by the United Nations. These principles will guide us toward a sustainable development of a better society in harmony with the environment. Professors play a key role to raise awareness in the students about the importance of sustainability.

Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon incorporates sustainability into all its projects, taking responsibility in encouraging a change of behavior for a sustainable future. In addition, UANL promotes the incorporation of viewpoints and environmental criteria into its curriculum. The University Academy for Sustainable Development (AUDS) was created in 2014 as an initiative with a knowledge network approach to enable the interaction between scholars, stimulate teaching, research, and linkages, disseminate knowledge and innovation, and develop environmental management programs within the schools to encourage teamwork.

The operations of the AUDS, supervised by the Department of Project Development, arise from the need for a crosscutting policy so that sustainability is organically integrated into the programs and substantial activities of UANL.

In this context, it is of primary relevance to support educational work through different teaching tools such as courses, seminars, and update of contents. It is also important to provide support materials to reinforce academic contents under a sustainable viewpoint.

The AUDS’ purpose is not to add new academic contents; in fact, its purpose is to redirect academic programs under a sustainable development approach. Academic staff and researchers work under the principles of research, reflection, learning, collaboration, and initiative.


Implemented Activities

UANL currently consists of 26 undergraduate schools, 29 high schools, and 40 research centers and institutes of arts, science, and culture. Its academic staff comprises 6,988 professors, of which 838 are members of the National Researcher System (SNI). Our university offers 324 academic programs: 46 for the upper intermediate level; 1 professional technical program; 80 undergraduate degrees, 38 of these are internationally accredited; and 198 graduate programs, of which 57 earned international certification. UANL holds six campuses: the Main, the Agricultural Sciences, the Health Sciences, the Mederos, the Linares, and the Sabinas Hidalgo campuses. It also has facilities in 34 municipalities of Nuevo Leon.

Over the past few years, UANL has experienced an increasing academic activity on sustainability with the implementation of different actions, such as courses, publications, projects, and events for undergraduate and graduate levels:

  • 3,265 courses related to sustainability for undergraduate levels.

  • 2,591 annual publications.

  • 1,610 annual events.



Organizational Structure and Operations

The academy is chaired by the UANL President and managed by the Department of Project Development, which is part of the Vice Presidency of Sustainability. It is made up of renowned researchers as well as remarkable full-time and part-time professors from several UANL entities that possess specialized expertise to guide the different discussion and collaboration lines toward each discipline.

The University Academy for Sustainable Development holds an annual meeting to discuss the progress, strategies, and actions that will be taken by its members and conducts courses, workshops, seminars, and other academic activities to enhance the experience of professors and researchers.

The AUDS is an intra-institutional organization that complements and strengthens the work of faculty, career, and curriculum bodies from UANL schools and research centers. It has the following objectives:

  • To generate sustainable development proposals for the substantial activities of UANL.

  • To promote the incorporation of sustainability into our university’s teaching: curriculum, course programs, assessment mechanisms, and learning-teaching strategies, among others.

  • To encourage continuous professionalization and updating of the academic staff on the topic of sustainability.

Furthermore, the AUDS will work under the following principles:

  • Collectivity and collegiality

  • Flexibility

  • Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches

  • Integration and Institutional cross-cutting scope

  • Benefits for its members


Member benefits

Some of the most notable benefits from belonging to the AUDS are listed below:

  • Institutional acknowledgement such as participation in collegiate bodies.

  • Free access and participation in training and updating activities organized by the AUDS.

  • Support for work publication in specialized areas.

  • Active participation in academic communication mechanisms and intra and inter-institutional exchange.


Lines of work

The AUDS began its operations according to the following lines of work:

1. Methodology and innovative materials development for the incorporation of sustainable development in university teaching. Projects introduced in this line of work may include one or more of the following activities:

  1. Creation of monographs, review articles, essays, and others texts to support teaching and the spreading of environmental topics.
  2. Experimentation with new teaching approaches (problem-based learning, projects method, case analysis method, different modalities of online teaching aids, new methods to evaluate learning).
  3. Creation of teaching packages to support sustainability education.

2. Development of online multidisciplinary learning to support university teaching and technical training under a learning object approach, which requires:

  1. Defining a specific topic of sustainable development from the perspective of any profession, discipline, or scientific, technological, or philosophical field.
  2. Choosing a specific area for a topic (global, macro regional, national, micro regional, local), as well as defining the intended learning goals of any self-learning audience with previous education.
  3. Training academic staff on the structuration of learning units.
  4. Gathering relevant information.
  5. Doing data systematization and organization for self-learning purposes.
  6. Preparing and reviewing materials.
  7. Designing and conducting pilot tests and continuous review of online material.

3. Development of research, reflections, and proposals about the incorporation of the sustainable development topics, including the following sections:

  1. Contextualization, review, planning, and restructuration of syllabus.
  2. Development of panoramic studies on the relevance and applicability of sustainable development in undergraduate and graduate programs.

Projects carried out by members of the AUDS must adhere to one or several of the described lines of work, without setting back the additional objectives or approaches that professors may consider suitable.


Academic Program Diagnosis

In order to include the sustainable approach to UANL academic programs, a diagnosis was conducted. This diagnosis produced the following results: 3,265 learning units are related to sustainability topics (48%) where 1,535 correspond to social issues, 1,236 environmental problems, and 494 to economic matters. The number of academic programs related to sustainability topics has increased over the past three years.