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Circular Economy

What do Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO) do?

Because Universities of Applied Sciences are divided into often strongly sectoral courses, integration of sustainability is dependent upon calls from the professional field, students, teachers and school leaders. Universities and programmes can choose to be assessed on the basis of sustainability (source: DuurzaamDoor). An exploratory study by Sustainable Motion in 2015 showed that there are no programmes where circular economy is the main focus. They found one minor about circular economy, but in the meantime this number has grown.

Throughout existing programmes, the teaching of circular principles in for instance construction and chemistry is increasing. Lectorates who do research about circular economics can be found at the Lectorenplatform (lectorate platform) Circular Economics.

Lectorate platform Circular Economics

Het Groene Brein is working together with Universities of Applied Sciences and lectors in creating the Lectorenplatform, which includes a map where all Universities of Applied Sciences, lectorates and lectors who are involved in research and/or teaching about circular economics can be found.

“The Lectorenplatform Circular Economics is a platform of lectors who are involved in applied research surrounding the subject of circular economics. The goal of this community is to share knowledge, collaborate in research projects and to increase the connection between different lectorates. Moreover, the platform stimulates collaboration between businesses and knowledge institutions, by offering support, made to measure, for questions from the field”

More information about the Lectorenplatform can be found on their website.


How colleges and universities express themselves in terms of sustainability is examined annually in a project by Studenten voor Morgen: the Sustainabul. Based on the degree of integration of sustainability in education, research, business operations and the development of best practices, Sustainabul compiles an annual ranking of institutions in higher education.

Studenten voor Morgen is a national network of students who are committed to increasing awareness about sustainability and integrating sustainability in education.


Higher education institutions can choose to have themselves assessed for sustainability and obtain a Sustainable Higher Education (DHO) accreditation. The audit and accreditation are done by Hobéon.

Active networks and organisations

  • Sustainable PABO is a network for primary school teacher’s education. They actively work on integrating sustainable development in (existing) education and the organisation of PABO’s and primary schools. They organise sustainability projects and network activities and are allied to the UNESCO sustainability network for education;
  • Duurzame Student (Sustainable Student) collects a list of educational progreammes on their website where sustainability is a core theme.