Students’ knowledge and expectations about sustainable food systems in higher education

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Paola Migliorini
  • Alexander Wezel
  • Eve Veromann
  • Carola Strassner
  • Dominika Średnicka-Tober
  • Johannes Kahl
  • Bügel, Susanne Gjedsted
  • Teresa Briz
  • Renata Kazimierczak
  • Hélène Brives
  • Angelika Ploeger
  • Ute Gilles
  • Vanessa Lüder
  • Olesa Schleicher-Deis
  • Natalia Rastorgueva
  • Fabio Tuccillo
  • Liina Talgre
  • Tanel Kaart
  • Diana Ismael
  • Ewa Rembiałkowska

Purpose: To clarify needs and requests of the young generation to the contemporary and future education on food systems, this paper aims to examine the following issues: students’ background knowledge, students’ behaviour as consumers and food citizenship, most interesting topics of SFS for students and students’ preferences and expectations in developing different skills, topics and preferences in teaching/learning methods. 

Design/methodology/approach: This study was performed as an online-survey amongst eight European Universities in seven European Union (EU) countries to which 1,122 students responded. Data was analysed with descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses. 

Findings: Taste and Health are the most important values and motives that influence students’ food buying and consumption decisions, but significant differences were found amongst students from different universities and countries. The most important topics for students for future teaching courses are “organic food”, “fair trade”, “organic agriculture” and most important skills to learn are “ability to make a judgement and justify decisions” and the “ability to create and innovate”. Excursions and field trips as teaching methods was given the highest ranks. 

Research limitations/implications: Different study programmes and cultural backgrounds of the participating students in the different universities could be a limiting factor for the interpretation of some results. 

Originality/value: These results provide a basis for improvement of higher education in the EU towards sustainable food systems based on experiential learning/teaching methods.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1087-1110
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Consumer food choice, Education for sustainable development, Experiential learning, Graduate employability, Sustainability, Teaching methods

ID: 245418419