India is the joint fourth most-represented nation across the rankings in the 2022 edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, based on universities’ contributions to delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Australia’s Western Sydney University led the table with best score of 99.1 per cent, followed by Arizona State University (Tempe) of United States, Western University of Canada, King Abdulaziz University of Saudi Arabia and Universiti Sains Malaysia in the top five with overall scores above 97.5 per cent.
The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings show the most impactful universities from around the world ranked on their performance of the SDGs, from providing decent work and economic growth to contributing to delivering affordable, clean energy.
This year, 1,524 higher education institutions from 110 countries and regions participated across the rankings on 2022 representing a 23 per cent increase on the previous year. The increase underlined the fact that universities globally are seizing the moment to deliver not only on public service, but also sustainable social and economic impact for their communities and society at large.
How Did India Rank on THE?
India, with 64 universities featuring in total (the same number as Turkey), is represented in top 100 with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, at position 41, and Lovely Professional University, at spot 74. The country is the only one from South Asia to break into the world’s top 50 university rankings.
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, at position 41, had 93 per cent in the overall score. Its best score was while leading in SDG3, Good Health and Well-Being, with 91.3 per cent.
Another Indian university that made to the top 100 is Lovely Professional University. The Punjab based private university managed to reach 74th position with overall score of 90.2 per cent. It showed best performance under SDG7, Affordable and Clean Energy with score of 82.9 per cent
Calcutta University has been ranked first among all the central and state-aided public universities in the country by THE Impact Rankings 2022. The varsity is at rank 14 globally in SDG8, Decent Work and Economic Growth.
Eight Indian universities made it into the top 300 list. OP Jindal Global University (JGU) has also featured in the 600-800 band, with a score of 60.3 out of 100.
The outstanding cases included Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, which was second in the world for SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and sixth for SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation). KIIT University is joint eighth for SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities).
How to Make it to Impact Rankings of THE?
Claim to be the world’s only rankings measuring universities’ contributions to UN SDGs, THE Impact Rankings assess university commitment to sustainability across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach and teaching. The ranking is based on a series of more than 100 metrics and 200 measurements.
Overall, 17 different universities from 14 countries top one of the 17 individual rankings for each SDG. The best-performing Western Sydney University, Australia, also tops the table for SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and stands second in SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). Western University Canada leads efforts to help eradicate poverty (SDG 1). The University of Witwatersrand in South Africa is the frontrunner in providing decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), while Fudan University in China is heading up the table of universities’ contribution to delivering affordable, clean energy (SDG 7).
Paving Way for Partnerships
The Impact Rankings of THE records universities’ performance in tables for each individual SDG and an overall ranking based in their performance in their best three individual SDG categories. The overall score is decided together with varsities’ actions in the compulsory category of SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals.
The university heads insist that partnerships among universities globally can help make their actions towards sustainability better.
It is interesting that the top ten universities include eight countries from four continents, with only one coming from the United States, presenting the perfect case of competitiveness. In his speech at the ed-tech-focussed ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego in April, Joy Johnson, President, Simon Fraser University of Canada, said that taking part in the impact rankings is important for universities, as it had the institutions to “hold a mirror up to ourselves”.
“We’ve learned some interesting things… we have learned what we are doing really well, and we have surprised ourselves. More importantly, we have learned where the gaps are and where we need to continue to push ourselves,” added Joy Johnson.