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THE Impact Rankings 2024 

The sixth edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings has published their Impact Ranking list for 2024, which is focusing specifically on universities that are contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their impact was measured against a set of criteria following the 17 SDGs and the participating universities have been ranked by each of those SDGs individually and in bulk. 

THE have identified some trends relevant to certain countries and specific SDGs: 

  • Australian universities have secured four of the top ten spots, up from three in 2023. This trend underscores Oceania's commitment to sustainability, with Australia consistently prioritising impactful environmental practices. 
  • German universities are leading the way in SDG 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), thanks to a strong tradition of technically oriented institutions and robust collaborations with industry. RWTH Aachen University, Technical University of Munich, TU Dresden, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and University of Stuttgart have achieved perfect scores in this category, driven by initiatives like Stuttgart’s ARENA2036 and Erlangen-Nuremberg’s innovation hub, ZOLLHOF. 
  • The UK dominates SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), with institutions like Bournemouth University and King’s College London at the forefront. These universities excel by meticulously tracking waste production and emphasizing supply chain sustainability. Initiatives such as Swansea's app for incentivising recycling and King’s internal furniture reuse platform highlight their innovative approaches. 
  • South Korea shines in SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), with Pusan National University and others leading due to strong national policies and significant investments in staff welfare and student work experience programmes. 

The top 10 group includes universities from the UK (2) and Canada (2), Australia (4), the US and Europe.  

These rankings illustrate the diverse and global contributions universities are making towards sustainable development, with excellence emerging from various regions in specific SDGs. For detailed results, visit the full rankings here.