Commitment to United Nations PRME

In the recent Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, La Trobe University ranked fourth in the world, third in Australia and first in Victoria for overall contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The University also ranks first in the world for gender equality and second for its contribution to health and well-being.

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative was founded and officially launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in 2007. La Trobe Business School became a signatory to PRME in 2008 joining a powerful and growing movement by leading business schools and management-related academic institutions worldwide to implement the six PRME principles: purpose, values, method, research, partnership and dialogue.

PRME provides a platform and advocates for responsible management education, research and thought leadership by higher education institutions globally. One of our aims as a PRME signatory is to educate our students to become responsible leaders who are informed and capable of balancing the demands of business with economic, social and environmental sustainability. We do this by embedding principles of sustainability, ethics and responsibility across our curriculum and beyond, through the La Trobe Business School's Mission and Vision.

Another important aspect of PRME is focusing and building staff and student capacity on a deeper understanding of the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are part of the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs and the six PRME principles provide a framework for La Trobe Business School to engage our students in the critical issues of corporate responsibility and sustainability in three key areas: curriculum, research and partnerships.

Learn about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals with the La Trobe Business School

This MOOC is a 7-week course where participants can learn about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how we can work towards achieving them. Credit towards the La Trobe MBA within the Business School may be awarded if you receive a Certificate of Completion for this course.

Curriculum, Research & Partnerships

Academic institutions can contribute much to the achievement of the SDGs through curriculum design, focusing research efforts on SDG related challenges, raising awareness of the SDGs and taking up the opportunities the framework offers for building collaborative projects with other sectors. In addition to the below, further examples can be found in our PRME reports.

Curriculum

La Trobe Business School is in a unique position as the entry point to student’s educational experience, early career path and professional growth. We believe this education is critical in developing students’ awareness of global issues and challenges, and to ensure they can enter the workplace fully equipped to advance and implement policies and practices that will contribute to responsible and sustainable business practice.

An example is the subject Sustainability (BUS1SBY), a first year undergraduate compulsory core subject that teaches students to analyse and develop solutions to sustainability challenges. In addition, nine core undergraduate subjects across the Business School are currently being reviewed and evaluated to further embed teaching about corporate responsibility, sustainability and the SDGs through the careful design of:

  • graduate capabilities
  • intended learning outcomes
  • delivery of subjects
  • relevant and comprehensive assessments

Responsible and ethical leadership is embedded across the La Trobe Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. For example, the core subject Responsible Leadership (BUA5RL) places a particular emphasis on responsible leadership, by exploring the evolving role of business in society, stakeholder engagement, corporate social responsibility, and ethical leadership. The MBA elective subject Social Context for Business (BUA5VED) provides a more in-depth analysis of diverse ethical perspectives. This subject is being co-designed and co-delivered with the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission as an MBA “Inclusion partner’, with their contribution centred around developing a framework for diversity and inclusion plans as well as contributing case studies and examples throughout the subject.

From 2021, 2nd and 3rd year business students will have the opportunity to undertake an international study tour called the ‘International Sustainability Experience’.  This subject will explore responses to specific environmental problems and sustainability challenges and their connections to social and economic change in the Asia-Pacific region. It provides students an opportunity to work with other students in an international multi-disciplinary real world project. Students will gain employability skills and enhance their global mindset while working in diverse cultures and engaging with real world problems.

Research

La Trobe Business School has four cross-disciplinary research centres and units that also work with private sector organisations, government bodies, non-governmental organisations and community groups:

  • Centre for Public Sector Governance, Accountability and Performance (CPSGAP)
  • Centre for Research in Data Analytics and Cognition lab (CDAC)
  • Centre for Sport and Social Impact (CSSI)
  • Research Centre for Computers, Communication and Social Innovation (RECSSI)

We have an impressive research output across a range of disciplines, with corporate responsibility and sustainability a unifying theme across research fields with staff specialising in research related to:

  • Corporate social responsibility, governance and business ethics
  • Critical, social and sustainability accounting
  • Corporations and corporate governance
  • Environmental and resource economics
  • Sport and social impact

For further information on any of these disciplines, please contact Professor Suzanne Young or Dr Swati Nagpal. In addition, the Yunus Social Business Centre (YBSC), established in 2014 by a Memorandum of Understanding between the Yunus Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh and La Trobe Business School, focuses on enhancing responsible business and leadership values and strengthening links with students and the wider community through a variety of programs and research that focus on innovation and social enterprise.

Partnerships

Our partnerships with industry include working alongside private sector organisations, government bodies, non-governmental organisations and community groups. Developing and supporting strong links with industry is essential for La Trobe Business School to be an outward looking institution and to ensure our graduates develop responsible theoretical and practical skills, and to apply these in the workplace. Our Internships and Work Integrated Learning programs provide opportunities for students to engage with industry and most importantly to apply their responsible leadership and sustainability mindsets in the workplace.

Our partnerships with associations and international bodies have evolved into strong relationships and collaborative work. Some of our significant projects have been initiated as a result of being nominated as PRME Champion from 2016 to 2021.

PRME Champions

La Trobe Business School was honoured to become a PRME Champion in Australia in 2016, with the position recently extended to 2021. Champions are recognised as ambassadors of the United Nations PRME initiative. We engage with and support local businesses and peer institutions, including playing a visible role in PRME Chapters, PRME Regional Meetings and with Global Compact Local Networks.

PRME Champions

PRME Champions undertake advanced tasks and innovative projects that respond to systemic challenges faced by the PRME community including:

  • Working collaboratively to achieve higher levels of performance in transforming business and management education in five key areas: curricula, research, educational frameworks, sustainability-based partnerships, and thought leadership.
  • Serving the broader PRME community through active engagement with existing PRME Chapters, PRME Working Groups, Global Compact LEAD, and other global opportunities, as well as to support broader and deeper implementation of sustainability principles in the institutional context of the PRME initiative.
  • Contributing to broader UN goals and issues, particularly helping to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.

CR3+ partnership

CR3+ is a unique partnership and international collaborative effort between four PRME Champions to exchange ideas, pedagogy, curriculum and research in the area of corporate responsibility.

One of the challenges being undertaken by the CR3+ network is to investigate the complex factors interfering with navigating the path toward Corporate Responsibility, and the implications for teaching, practice and research by higher education institutions worldwide.

CR3+ partners

PRME report

As a PRME member, we are required to regularly share information on the progress made in implementing PRME through a Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) report. The report is shared amongst the PRME community so that PRME signatories can learn about La Trobe Business School’s achievements and programs that advocate the six PRME principles.  The report submission can be downloaded below.

2018 La Trobe PRME Report [PDF 14.8MB]

For more information about the School's involvement in the UN PRME, please contact Professor Suzanne Young or Dr Swati Nagpal.