Sustainability, Higher Education of Civil Engineers and the Art of Social Engineering in Sweden
Sustainable Development (SD) has become a catch word in contemporary educational debate and even become a metaphor for welfare in Sweden as well as many other countries. This paper analyze SD as an area of education during the period 1993-2010 at Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, one of the elite institutions in higher education in Sweden. The main focus is the change in content in this area of education and its nearby areas of knowledge: ecology and environment, and how the recruitment to these courses and programs has developed over time: analyzing students’ social origin, admission qualification, gender and students educational strategies. It is shown that a higher proportion of female students enter engineering programs profiled towards sustainable development. The paper also disclose SD as an area of education that has shifted from specific knowledge of environmental protection towards abstract skills and insight into the social environment of engineering as a technology. In this sense SD is interpret as a general ethical subject within the engineering programs. It appears the art of "social engineering" is occupied by its opposite, according to which it is the civil engineer who enters areas where social science traditionally hold a prominent position and addresses social and political issues.