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Minor in Sustainability


Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) currently operates as a fully integrated community. Thus, all the activities that take place at a complex university can have implications for the environment as a whole. Therefore, in order to become a model of sustainability, USM needs to make daily activities a way of life that is responsible for the environment, social and economic as well as reinforces the values and behaviours desired by the entire community. Although many higher education activities have been implemented to respond to these sustainability initiatives, the results are still not satisfactory. Therefore, the Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS) has taken the initiative to offer the Minor in Sustainability Courses from the 2015/2016 Academic Session to 2nd and 3rd year students. This course is open to students from various disciplines at USM.


This Minor in Sustainability course is introduced to students to ensure that the needs of future generations are not marginalised, especially in facing the challenges of the globalisation era and the advancement of information technology. Therefore, to be a "role model" in sustainability, the university needs to make daily activities an important demonstration of a responsible way of life for the environment, social, and economy as well as strengthen the values and behaviours anticipated by the local community. There are various factors that become obstacles and challenges to the sustainability of higher education which are caused by deficiencies and weaknesses such as awareness, interest, and involvement; organisational structure; university administrative support; time constraints; training related to sustainability; rejecting change; profit mentality; trans-disciplinary research; and communication and information opportunities. Therefore, the Minor in Sustainability course has the potential to implement the practice of sustainability by all students involved in higher education institutions by recognising, appreciating, learning, being critical, and emulating. In terms of the opportunity, this Minor in Sustainability will give students exposure and knowledge that can be used and developed in graduate studies or in the workplace for the present or the future.


The university plays vital role in increasing awareness, knowledge, skills, and values among its students, which is very necessary to create a justice and more sustainable future. The main objective of this minor course is to identify, understand, and promote higher education initiatives towards sustainable development. In addition, students need to be exposed to all the activities carried out at the university that are necessary to monitor the significant impact on the environment, both social and economic, for example, the use of workshops and laboratories, building and land maintenance, and the use of energy and materials. Awareness is very necessary because nowadays higher education institutions are experiencing significant environmental liability by using large volume of energy and water, producing solid waste, and using too much supply chain, which impacts the local social and economic environment. Students can also monitor their daily activities to ensure they reflect sustainability practices that have improved over time. All the knowledge learned while at university will be able to be applied by every student or practiced by them when they are in the world of work later


This minor package, which amounts to 20 units and above, consists of Minor level courses. These courses are selected based on current needs in implementing university sustainability based on the basic components created by the Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS). There are 3 courses that are compulsory for every student, namely: -

1. WSU 101: Sustainability: Issues, Challenges and Prospects

2. HGG 250: Society, Space and Environment

3. IEK 115: Environmental, Safety and Health Legislation