Sulitest, which started from a question on the role that Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) could play in nurturing awareness and action on sustainability issues, was at the center of a high-level discussion at the United Nations (UN) in July 2017.
The discussion formed part of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the UN Head Quarters in New York on 19 July 2017. Data from Sulitest, or the Sustainable Literacy Test, was used to gauge HEIs progress in grasping and teaching issues related to sustainability, and specifically the themes of the 2030 Agenda.
“The Sulitest was specifically created to test anyone’s grasp of the knowledge and awareness of sustainability issues. As an online assessment, it has already grown into a pedagogical tool of reference worldwide, and it covers the entire scope of Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility,”
– Jean-Christophe Carteron, senior advisor to the Higher Education Sustainability initiative (HESI) and President of Sulitest.
Sulitest was conceptualized at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012 and was nurtured by the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) and other networks and initiatives concerned with sustainability literacy. As an online tool that could test awareness and knowledge of sustainability issues, it is a tangible implementation of HESI.
After its creation and an initial pilot phase from 2014 to 2016, Sulitest began testing candidates’ awareness of sustainability issues in earnest, through its academically rigorous online multiple-choice questionnaire. More than 61 000 candidates from 612 universities in 57 countries have taken the test to date.
The test features one core model that is taken by all participants, with 16 specialized models on local specificities and one, which specifically test the SDGs framework.
During the official event “Higher Education Institutions — key drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals” organized by the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), Sulitest presented a mapping of the current level of awareness of the challenges addressed by the 17 SDGs. Read the full report at: https://www.sulitest.org/hlpf2017report.pdf
For the research presented at the UN High Level Forum in July, Sulitest drew on a sample of an impressive 16 575 candidates from 170 universities in 30 countries, who took the online test between September 2016 and July 2017.
The research shows that respondents scored an average of 55%, while the awareness of certain of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) fared better than others.
A snapshot of the results shows that SDG2 (Zero Hunger), SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 14 (Life below water), SDG 15 (Life on land) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) fared the best if measured on awareness with average scores above 60%.
On the other side of the scale, SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) had very little awareness, with an average score of only 34%.
Using this research snapshot as base, Sulitest can now retest and report on changes and trends in sustainability awareness and particularly on the efficacy of UN initiatives to create more awareness on the most urgent Sustainable Development Goals.
For the full report from Sulitest, please visit https://www.sulitest.org/hlpf2017report.pdf.
For more information on the Sustainable Development Goals, please visit https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs.