January 31st, 2018
The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) is a United Nations-supported initiative, founded in 2007, as a platform to raise the profile of sustainability in schools around the world, and to equip today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow.
As a voluntary initiative with over 650 signatories worldwide, PRME has become the largest organized relationship between the United Nations and management-related higher education institutions. Working through Six Principles, PRME engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while drawing attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact.
As a signatory of PRME, Epoka University expressed the conviction that higher education institutions integrating universal values into curriculum and research, can contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive global economy, and help build more prosperous societies.
Epoka University and in particular the Business Administration Department (BUS) are highly focused on integrating the triple bottom line approach in curriculum design and courses in order to have a social, economic, and environmental impact. For instance, the BUS Department is a pioneer in the whole region for designing a course dedicated to Yunus Social Business and Business Sustainability, a unique course in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Following the signing of the MoU with Yunus Center Dhaka, the two institutions will collaborate for promoting Social Business. This will be achieved through, but not limited to, social business action programs, courses, research, publications, conducting social business design labs, conferences, exchange programs, academic workshops, exposure visits, internships and scholarship programs. Already, Epoka University has founded a students’ club called Sensitive Society Club dealing specifically with social sustainability issues.
In addition to the Business Administration Department, also other departments are focused on sustainability matters. For instance, the Department of Architecture has put an emphasis on designing eco-friendly buildings in collaboration with the Department of Civil Engineering.
Furthermore, Epoka University is engaged also in extra academic activities such as trainings and simulations based always on the sustainability mindset. For instance, very recently the General Directorate of Civil Emergencies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, organized a simulation activity on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (CBRN) at the premises of Epoka University.
The most important achievements in the area of Research and Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability are summarized as follows:
· The Department of Business Administration of Epoka University has pioneered in Western Balkans and Eastern Europe the first research cluster on Social Business and Sustainable Systems.
· Epoka University it is going to establish the Yunus Centre in collaboration with the Nobel Peace Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus.
· Our institution has already founded the Center for European Studies which promotes the integration of Albania in European Union by sustaining the Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations.
· The Department of Architecture of Epoka University is highly engaged in research regarding renewable energy and environmental protection.
· The stakeholder engagement with traditional or social businesses, as well as local and international organizations, has been already mentioned somehow in the previous paragraph (e.g. Vodafone, UNDP, etc.). Furthermore, during the spring semester at Epoka’s campus is held the Career Fair in which participate averagely around 60 companies (including the Big Four of Consulting), having a conversation about practical implications of knowledge from academia to the market. Many of our students are already recruited by these companies.
As an institution of higher education involved in the development of current and future managers Epoka University upon signing declared the willingness to progress in the implementation, within the institution, of the PRME Six Principles, starting with those that are more relevant to its capacities and mission.
PRME Six Principles
Principle 1 | Purpose: As an institution of higher education we will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.
Principle 2 | Values: As an institution of higher education we will incorporate into our academic activities, curricula, and organizational practices the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.
Principle 3 | Method: As an institution of higher education we will create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.
Principle 4 | Research: As an institution of higher education we will engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.
Principle 5 | Partnership: As an institution of higher education we will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.
Principle 6 | Dialogue: As an institution of higher education we will facilitate and support dialog and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organizations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.
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