Since 2012, the idealistic student network Studenten voor Morgen (Students for Tomorrow) has made a sustainability ranking of higher education institutions, focusing on the topics of education, research, operations and best practices. The winner is awarded the SustainaBul.

This is the fourth time that Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences has topped the list. The institution, which has branches in Leeuwarden and Velp, also won in 2020, 2022 and 2023.

A prize is also awarded for the best practices. This year, it was won by Radboud University Nijmegen for its ‘You are needed’ campaign, which encourages students to contribute to a more sustainable world.

graph sustainabul
Green, orange, blue and red: scores for education, research, operations and best practices. Image credit: SustainaBul

The compilers of the rankings first search for information about sustainability, before asking the educational institutions for a reaction. With this information they then determine the final scores.

Sustainability, as understood by the students, involves more than just action aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and preventing food waste. The topic of ‘social sustainability’ also covers diversity and inclusion.

Fossil fuel industry

The students do not ask directly about ties with the fossil fuel industry. Action groups including researchers and students want higher education institutions to cut ties with companies such as Shell. Occupations took place at various educational institutions last year with this goal in mind.

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