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1.
Strategic transition to sustainability : a cybernetic model
Tjaša Štrukelj, Petya Dankova, Nomi Hrast, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: As the importance of the transition to sustainable development is increasingly recognised by individuals, organisations, and society as a whole, there is a growing need to examine its impact at micro-, meso-, and macro-levels. There is an urgent imperative to ensure the sustainability of growing economic inequalities, a degraded environment, and people living in uneven conditions in different societies. The authors, therefore, highlight the strategic role and essential contribution of organisations, and universities/higher education institutions in particular, in achieving sustainable development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Universities/higher education institutions play a key role in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, and they form the crucial architecture of contemporary practices in national economies and beyond. Policy makers, university/higher education institution governors, managers, and professors shape students and create new social contexts, and these must be oriented towards sustainability. This paper aims to explore the strategic role of organisations, in particular, universities/higher education institutions, as a key link between personal and social responsibility and, thus, as a powerful enabler of sustainable development. The authors examine the strategic transition to sustainability of two higher education institutions, the University of Maribor and the University of Economics—Varna, and conduct a qualitative case study research to develop a cybernetic model of the university’s/higher education institution’s transition to sustainability, which reflects the organisation’s growing commitment to achieving the Sustainability Development Goals. The model includes seven successive stages: pre-awareness, awareness, focusing, implementation, reaching out, transparency and disclosure, and continuous improvement. The study shows that sustainable development, i.e., sustainability governance, management, and operations, are indispensable for implementing the strategic concept of sustainability in an organisation and for achieving the strategic transition to sustainability as explained in the proposed cybernetic model.
Keywords: governance, sustainability, sustainable development, SDGs, strategic management, innovation, university, higher education institution
Published in DKUM: 19.03.2024; Views: 73; Downloads: 11
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2.
Assessment of environmental sustainability integration into higher education for future experts and leaders
Matevž Obrecht, Zane Feodorova, Maja Rosi, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: The environmental and climate crisis is gaining priority among critical human concerns; therefore, environmental knowledge and sustainable solutions play a significant role and gaining global popularity as an academic discipline. Additionally, United Nations Sustainable Development Goal no. 4 acknowledges education's role in promoting sustainable development, sustainable lifestyles, human rights, social responsibility, circular economy, and greening our economy and society. In this paper new conceptual framework that focuses on systematically analyzing environmental sustainability integration in study programs and subjects is developed. The main aim is to reflect the conceptual basis of education related to environmental sustainability topics such as sustainable development, social responsibility, circular economy, ecology, environmental protection, and greening to boost future environmental management practices in industry and services. Defining the level of integration of environmental and sustainability-related topics is divided by research field classification and study cycles (BSc, MSc, PhD). The specific added value of the developed conceptual framework is reflected by defining cross-sections and inter-and trans-disciplinary of sustainability topics integrated within specific programs and subjects. The conceptual framework was tested by assessing 1051 programs in progress in Slovenia. It was revealed that the highest share of study programs has an intermediate level of environmental sustainability with 2–3 subjects (392 study programs). These are represented mainly by integrating environmental protection, ecology, and “greening” but less with circular economy and social responsibility. Significant differences among specific study programs and study fields reflect that young intellectuals will not be equally educated and qualified for future managerial challenges. Master students gain the best insight into core sustainability and environmental topics needed for future environmental managers.
Keywords: higher education institution, environmental sustainability, educating environmental expert, managing knowledge supply, environmental competence
Published in DKUM: 19.02.2024; Views: 91; Downloads: 12
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3.
Assertiveness scale as a teamwork aptitude predictor
Lada Marinković, Violeta Zubanov, Jasna Potočnik Topler, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Assertiveness has been gaining attention in the research studies in vocational and higher education and in managerial processes. The aim of this study was to examine a relationship between the level of assertiveness and willingness to work in a team, and research to what extent the level of assertiveness can predict the attitudes towards teamwork. The Scale of Assertiveness and a Scale of Attitudes towards Teamwork were applied to the sample of 284 respondents. The results suggest that individuals with higher scores on the Scale of Assertiveness have more positive attitudes towards teamwork, and what is significant is that the research confirmed that individual behaviour in a team structured environment can be improved through personal assertiveness development.
Keywords: higher education, assertiveness, communication, teamwork, assertiveness scale, business
Published in DKUM: 31.01.2024; Views: 151; Downloads: 4
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4.
How much sustainable knowledge will soon-to-be experts in Slovenia have? : findings of higher education study programs’ analysis
Matevž Obrecht, Lazar Pavić, 2023, published scientific conference contribution

Abstract: Environmental topics are gaining more and more important both in the European Union and in Slovenia in the last decade. Climate changes (floods, droughts, and heat waves), pollution (soil, water, and air), management of invasive species, noise pollution, food self-sufficiency, sustainable development in the field of tourism, etc. are particularly present both in Slovenian Eastern and Western cohesion region. However, the level of knowledge about environmental challenges and competences of current experts and leaders to effectively manage and deal with them is perceived to be too low. The paper examines the inclusion of sustainable competences, knowledge, and skills in higher education programs in Slovenia to predict the level of sustainable knowledge. Slovenian soon-to-be professionals will be empowered by the Slovenian higher education system (Daneshjoo et al., 2020). Analysis included the content of 956 higher education study programs on the individual course level. In the next phase, a comprehensive comparative analysis of the situation in the areas of higher education and environmental education was performed. The factors based on which comparison was made are field of study, type of institution, level of study and number of subjects in the program that include some sustainable content. Non-parametric tests were used to determine statistically significant differences are the Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis H test.
Keywords: sustainable development, sustainable knowledge, higher education, sustainable competences, higher education study programs
Published in DKUM: 12.01.2024; Views: 186; Downloads: 12
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5.
Transformation of the RESPO decision support system to higher education for monitoring sustainability-related competencies
Andreja Abina, Bojan Cestnik, Rebeka Kovačič Lukman, Sara Zavernik, Matevž Ogrinc, Aleksander Zidanšek, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: A result-oriented engagement system for performance optimisation (RESPO) has been developed to systematically monitor and improve the competencies of individuals in business, lifelong learning and secondary schools. The RESPO expert system was transferred for use in higher education institutions (HEIs) based on successful practical application trials. The architecture and functionality of the original RESPO expert system have been transformed into a new format that will collect information on the required competencies and the available educational programmes to help students effectively develop competencies through formal and non-formal education. First, the initial version of the RESPO system and its functionality were tested on a selected group of students and higher education staff to validate and improve its effectiveness for the needs of HEIs. This paper summarises the key findings and recommendations of the validators for transforming the RESPO application into an application for HEIs. In addition, the selection of competencies in the RESPO application database has been adapted to align with selected study programmes and the need to develop sustainability-related competencies. These findings can support professionals working in higher education institutions in developing students’ future competencies and fostering the targeted use of learning analytics tools.
Keywords: higher education, competencies development, decision support, STEM education, sustainability
Published in DKUM: 02.08.2023; Views: 225; Downloads: 15
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International Scientific Conference "Research and Education in Nursing" : Book of Abstracts, June 19th 2023, Maribor, Slovenia
2023

Abstract: University of Maribor Faculty of Health Sciences celebrates the 30th anniversary of its founding. In honoring this occasion, we are organising the lnternational Scientific Conference "Research and Education in Nursing". It will be held on June 19th 2023 in Maribor and will include the most recent findings of domestic and foreign researchers in nursing and other healthcare fields. The conference aims to explore advances in nursing and health care research as well as research-based education, in the Slovenian and international arena. Furthermore, it will provide an opportunity far practitioners and educators to exchange research evidence, models of best practice and innovative ideas.
Keywords: higher education, nursing, health sciences, conference, research
Published in DKUM: 19.06.2023; Views: 328; Downloads: 33
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9.
European first-year university students accept evolution but lack substantial knowledge about it: a standardized European cross-country assessment
Paul Kuschmierz, Anna Beniermann, Alexander Bergmann, Rianne Pinxten, Tuomas Aivelo, Justyna Berniak-Woźny, Gustav Bohlin, Anxela Bugallo-Rodriguez, Pedro Cardia, Bento Filipe Barreiras Pinto Cavadas, Andrej Šorgo, Gregor Torkar, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Investigations of evolution knowledge and acceptance and their relation are central to evolution edu‑ cation research. Ambiguous results in this feld of study demonstrate a variety of measuring issues, for instance difer‑ ently theorized constructs, or a lack of standardized methods, especially for cross-country comparisons. In particular, meaningful comparisons across European countries, with their varying cultural backgrounds and education systems, are rare, often include only few countries, and lack standardization. To address these defcits, we conducted a stand‑ ardized European survey, on 9200 frst-year university students in 26 European countries utilizing a validated, com‑ prehensive questionnaire, the “Evolution Education Questionnaire”, to assess evolution acceptance and knowledge, as well as infuencing factors on evolution acceptance.
Keywords: evolucija, znanje, visokošolsko izobraževanje, ocenjevanje, Evropa, evolution, acceptance, knowledge, multilevel modeling, socioscientific issues, religious faith, higher education, Europe, assessment, attitude
Published in DKUM: 02.09.2022; Views: 458; Downloads: 9
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10.
International Scientific Conference "Learning to Live and Work Together" : Book of Abstracts, June 10th, 2021, Slovenia
2021, proceedings

Abstract: University of Maribor Faculty of Health Sciences is organizing the Online International Scientific Conference »LEARNING to Live and Work Together«, held on June 29th 2021. E-proceedings of the conference include most recent findings of domestic and foreign researchers and students in higher education, social work, nursing and health sciences. The conference aims to explore the quality of life for migrant students, transformative action in higher education, advances in nursing research and education as well as advanced nursing practice experience in Slovenian and international arena. It provides an opportunity to promote the development, dissemination and use of knowledge in the field of social work, nursing and health sciences for educators and health practitioners, furthermore they exchange research evidence, models of best practice and innovative ideas.
Keywords: higher education, social work, nursing, health sciences, conference, research
Published in DKUM: 08.10.2021; Views: 977; Downloads: 119
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