From my earlier articles you will know that these ranking are based on the United Nations Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) , and while the methodology used is broadly similar to former years, a small number of indicators have been added and some definitions changed slightly.
Take for example SDG17 –the only goal that must be chosen by all the participating universities (in addition to 3 other goals) which deals with the partnerships that universities must have to ensure the SDGs are achieved. This year universities are required to have sustainability courses with educational outreach activities for the wider community, this goes further than the 2021 commitment which had required meaningful education around the SDGs across the university “in some or all programmes”.
Other indicators now specify that support needs to be given to immigrants and refugees (SDG10 reduced inequalities) (SDG 4 quality education) (SDG 11 sustainable cities and communities), very relevant today. With regards to more transparency regarding climate change the SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) indicator on promoting a pledge towards 100 per cent renewable energy now specifies that this pledge should be public and made known to those beyond the university.
No one country dominated the top 10 spots this year but following the success of Western Sydney University two UK universities, Newcastle University (8th) and the University of Manchester (9th) scored highly while universities from Canada (Western and Queens University); New Zealand (University of Auckland); Malaysia (Universiti Sains Malaysia); Saudi Arabia (King Abdulaziz University); and Japan (Hokkaido University) were also in the top ten.
Thanks to this important ranking we can clearly see the progress being made globally as hundreds of universities now offer full degree or elective courses focusing on sustainability and the SDGs, this is crucial if we want to educate our young people on how we can save our planet and its people.
The English-language methodology for the Impact Rankings 2022 is available here, while the year-on-year changes are highlighted in red here.
Career and University Guidance Counsellor - Collège Champittet