Universities’ achievement hailed in new world impact rankings

Universities Scotland has welcomed new global rankings that demonstrate the impact of institutions’ teaching and research on improving the world as aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Seven universities* from Scotland are represented in the rankings, all featuring in the top 20% of more than 1,500 universities globally.

The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings sees 1,524 universities from 110 countries and regions ranked on work towards the UN’s SDGs. The Impact Rankings rates institutional impact across 18 tables; one for each of the 17 different SDGs, which include issues such as climate action and reduced inequalities, as well as an overall ranking on SDG impact. Three Scottish universities: Glasgow, Edinburgh and Glasgow Caledonian find themselves in the top 100 with a further four universities within the top 300.

Responding to the 2022 THE Impact Rankings, Universities Scotland Director, Alastair Sim said:

Universities across Scotland are committed to improving our communities, locally and globally, and these latest rankings which are determined by our research, stewardship, outreach and teaching  demonstrate the strong position our universities start from. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are hugely important both internationally and nationally. The sector is tremendously proud of our record which we will always seek to improve on.”

THE’s SDG rankings, launched in 2019, with a growing number of institutions opting to participate in each annual cycle. This is likely to mean some volatility in the results year-to-year until participation reaches a steady-state. The broader point is the significant contribution that higher education makes to the achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goals. A recent Scottish Funding Council report Scotland’s Research Contribution to National and International Challenges mapped that Scottish university research was ahead of the global average when mapped against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.