Sustainable Assessment Tools for Higher Education Institutions: Developing Two-Hierarchy Tools for China

Yawei Du Du, Qing Ye, Hongjiang Liu, Yuting Wu, F. Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) play an increasingly significant role in the practice of sustainability. For HEIs in their early stages of sustainability, they are still in need of sustainable assessment tools (SATs) that are suitable for their local context and also lead international sustainable development. The purpose of this paper is to develop a two-hierarchy sustainability assessment tool (THSus) for Chinese higher education institutions, including a quick analysis tool (QAT) and an in-depth benchmarking tool (IBT). The QAT provided a general overview of campus sustainability for HEIs to initiate initial actions and screen cases for the IBT. The IBT then provides more targeted analysis to plan long-term strategic changes. Based on the analysis of HEI cases, a 34-person Chinese research team was enlisted to discuss and select characteristics to formulate THSus. Indicators and weightings were developed according to the tool’s purpose and applied to 15 cases to test its effectiveness. Results showed that THSus is suitable for systematically analyzing campus issues, particularly in research areas. It offers a regional solution for Chinese campuses that is adaptable and considers the comprehensive core of sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11551
Number of pages22
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • campus sustainability
  • green campuses
  • higher education institution
  • sustainable assessment tools
  • two-hierarchy tools


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