Bioeconomy perception by future stakeholders: Hearing from European forestry students

Ambio. 2020 Dec;49(12):1925-1942. doi: 10.1007/s13280-020-01376-y. Epub 2020 Oct 13.


This article provides useful information for universities offering forestry programs and facing the growing demand for bioeconomy education. An explorative survey on bioeconomy perception among 1400 students enrolled in 29 universities across nine European countries offering forestry programs was performed. The data have been elaborated via descriptive statistics and cluster analysis. Around 70% of respondents have heard about the bioeconomy, mainly through university courses. Students perceive forestry as the most important sector for bioeconomy; however, the extent of perceived importance of forestry varies between countries, most significantly across groups of countries along a North-South European axis. Although differences across bachelor and master programs are less pronounced, they shed light on how bioeconomy is addressed by university programs and the level of student satisfaction with this. These differences and particularities are relevant for potential development routes towards comprehensive bioeconomy curricula at European forestry universities with a forestry focus.

Keywords: Bioeconomy; Education; Forest-based bioeconomy; Forestry students; Future stakeholders; Perception.

MeSH terms

  • Europe
  • Forestry*
  • Humans
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires