Global Ranking to Measure Contribution of Universities to SDGs
Photo courtesy of Marc Hernandez
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The first edition of a new global university ranking that aims to measure institutions’ success in delivering the SDGs should be launched at the Times Higher Education Innovation and Impact Summit in April 2019.

The first edition of the ranking will include metrics based on the 11 SDGs that are the most relevant to Universities (SDGs 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16 and 17).

14 February 2019: Times Higher Education (THE), a data provider on higher education, is developing a global university ranking to measure institutions’ success in delivering the SDGs. The first edition of the ranking is expected to be launched at the company’s Innovation and Impact Summit convening in Daejeon, South Korea, from 2-4 April 2019.

THE already publishes annual World University Rankings, and their metrics should enable universities across the world to evidence impact, not just those located in more developed nations. An opinion piece in University Affairs notes that linking universities to the SDGs might not require additional costs, but might require improved organizational effectiveness.

The first edition of the new ranking includes metrics based on 11 SDGs, which are being developed in partnership with Vertigo Ventures. According to a presentation by THE and Vertigo Ventures, the 11 Goals reflected in the ranking are those “most relevant to Universities,” namely SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 10 (reduced inequalities), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnerships for the Goals).

On methodology, THE notes that data are collected from universities and Elsevier will produce an overall ranking of universities based on the best four or five SDGs per university. Individual rankings of universities that are best achieving the 11 SDGs will also be published, it reports.

Other initiatives have been reported to encourage universities to help advance the SDGs. The SDG Knowledge Hub has reported that the UN has identified 17 universities around the world that will serve as ‘Academic Impact’ Hubs for each of the 17 SDGs, and that each university will be charged with promoting scholarship and best practices for its respective Goal. [THE press release]

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