University of Aruba

Academic Foundation Year fostering student sustainability literacy and engagement


University of Aruba


South America



founding year


student body



Institutional Approach

The University of Aruba has embedded sustainability into the educational experience of all students. Students who enter directly from secondary school begin their studies with an Academic Foundation Year, where they receive guidance and coaching in pursuing their future academic path. The foundation year focuses on experiential learning approaches that embed students in their local ecology and culture, and includes a module focused on the SDGs, and how they manifest locally in the construction of a roadmap to sustainability for Aruba. Moreover, students conduct a group research project during the foundation year where they must design a project that could contribute to strengthening the university’s role in pursuing the SDGs in Aruba. There is a strong interdisciplinary nature of sustainability research and education, wherein students learn about different data collection methods. Qualitative monitoring of the foundation year has shown that it increases students’ sustainability literacy and engagement.


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