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The University of Southampton

University impact rankings place Southampton in world’s top 200

Published: 21 April 2021
Highfield Campus
Southampton has been ranked amongst the world's top 200 in responding to the UN's SDGs.

The University of Southampton has placed in the world’s top 200 institutions according to the latest global rankings to capture universities’ impact on society and success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Southampton is ranked between 101-200 overall in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings for 2021. THE used data submitted by 1,175 universities in 98 countries around the world to assess their institutional performance against the 17 SDGs to demonstrate the impact universities have on society and communities, beyond core teaching and research activities.

The University scored highly for research in every SDG it entered, achieving a perfect score of 100 under ‘Partnership for the Goals’ in the sub-category of Education for the SDGs. Southampton also did particularly well in SDG 3 - ‘Good health and wellbeing’ - where the University ranked 42nd overall out of 871 institutions worldwide.

Southampton’s submission to the THE featured examples of how university policies and practices are working to meet the end goals of SDGs. The submission also relates to the work of researchers involved in shaping SDG-related policies and strategies nationally and internationally, engaging in cross-sectoral dialogue about SDGs through engagement with other universities, governments and non-governmental organisations, and tackling SDGs through student volunteering programmes, research programmes and the development of educational resources.

“We’re very pleased that some of the many excellent contributions of our staff, and students, in making a positive impact on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals have been recognised by the Times Higher Education,” said Professor Rachel Mills, Dean of Environmental and Life Sciences and the University Executive’s Sustainability Champion. “We are in the process of reviewing where our many contributions align to the SDGs, ensuring that our own activities make a lasting and positive impact on our local community whilst amplifying that impact nationally and internationally for decades to come.”

The University of Southampton formally launched its new Sustainability Strategy in October 2020, jointly with the Students’ Union, following extensive consultation with staff and students. The Strategy sets out the University and Students’ Union’s joint ambitions through goals that are aimed at achieving net zero emissions for direct emissions and considerably reduce indirect emissions; make sustainability a cornerstone of the University’s research and societal impact whilst ensuring that sustainability is part of every education programme; and implement a sustainable and ethical investment policy.

On 24 May, the University will launch a new e-learning module on sustainability for all staff and students. A new feedback tool (requires University log-in) has also been created for staff and students to get in touch with ideas and solutions for the University to consider.

Further information on the University of Southampton Sustainability Strategy can be found here.

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