Bui Phu HUNG*
Faculty of Foreign Languages – Van Hien University, VIETNAM.
Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the effects of urban institutions of higher education on social sustainability of the community. Three urban colleges in Vietnam were involved in this study.
Methods: Questionnaires and interviews were administered to 120 local residents and 1470 students and college employees (office and teaching staff) living in the nearby communities. In the interviews, the researcher made efforts to explore in-depth information by providing prompts in order to confirm, interpret and supplement the quantitative data collected from the questionnaires.
Findings: All participants responded that the colleges contributed greatly to the social equity through rentals, food consumption, and other services available. However, though some local residents took a positive view of social diversity, others were conservative. The social cohesions took place in the community where its members were willing to welcome new cultures. Most local residents were not confident about community security when there were many new members. Noise and traffic also caused much concern to local residents.
Implications for Research and Practice: It is suggested that local residents should distribute equital gains to physically and financially challenged people in the community. Other implications were given to researchers, policy makers, community members, and student tenants living around college. Further studies can take a holistic approach to sustainable development as a result of the effects of educational institutions. Researchers may also take into account more educational institutions of higher education in other contexts.
Keywords: Social sustainability, higher education, impacts, community, educational institutions.