Educating for Environmental Practices: An Assessment from Bachelor of Commerce (B. Com) Undergraduates in Sri Lankan State Universities

K. M. V. Sachitra, D. G. P. Kaluarachchi


Scholarly attention on environmental literacy has been increased in recent
years since the knowledge level and interest in environmental issues are
decisive to engage in environmental protection functions. The study aims to
investigate the environmental literacy level believing that understanding the
level of environmental literacy will lead to influence attitudinal changes and
actions of undergraduates towards environment. Total number of 650
Bachelor of Commerce undergraduates in state universities of Sri Lanka
were selected as the sample of the study. A self-administered structured
questionnaire was administered to collect data on the environmental
literacy level, the interest and the activity engagement in environmental
activities of the respondents. The regression-based path analysis was
performed to examine the relationships among the constructs. Based on the
descriptive analysis, there was low level of environmental literacy of the
selected undergraduates in this study. The overall level of interest in
environmental issues and the level of engagement in environmental
activities were moderate. The regression-based path analysis indicated that
environmental literacy as well as the environmental interest were significant
predictors for environmental engagement. Further, interest in
environmental issues mediated the relationship between the environmental
literacy and the actual engagement in environmental activities. The study
exclusively examined the relationship between the undergraduates'
knowledge level of the environment and the interest in environmental issues
and also examined the factors that influence undergraduates' participation
in activities that promote sustainability of the environment, which has been
neglected by prior studies. The results facilitate to recommend that the
degree programmes should be integrated with environmental areas where
such knowledge could lead to promote the interest and the action towards
the environmental activities.

Bachelor of Commerce undergraduates, Comparative study, Environmental
literacy, Sustainability

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Vidyodaya Journal of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka