The Challenges and Expectations on Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Southeast Asia Towards Building Environmentally Sustainable Society
AbstractFrom the landscape of 4.5 million square kilometers of skyscrapers in Singapore, to some of the world's oldest tropical rainforests, Southeast Asia is one of the most divergent and vibrant cultures on the planet. The constant GDP growth rate at around 5 on average in past few decades  has changed the landscape and living standards of the people in this region rapidly at the cost of some adversarial effects on the environment from time to time. Now, the awareness of building a sustainable society is on the cards around the globe, and every nation in this region is gearing up towards making a sustainable society in the new millennium. There are many challenges and uphill tasks like political stability, lack of awareness among various clusters of the society causing roadblocks and challenges in achieving this goal of building a sustainable society. Compared to other Industries, social developments and environmental responsibilities were pioneered by the education sector in the history of this region. It is time for the Academic Institutions to play an active role once again towards this essential paradigm shift. This research is a detailed study conducted in five higher education institutions in the region with diverse background and location through questionnaires and study on the current practices, challenges faced, and proposes their views on various strategies in achieving the sustainable society. The results of the survey reflect James Gustave Speth’s famous article in 1991 ‘The Transition to a Sustainable Society’, which stated that the sustainable society can only be built when the society does not move away from its cultural roots.