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Queen’s places 7th for sustainability in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

Queen’s University campus. Photo via Queen’s University.

The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings announced today, Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2022, that Queen’s University is ranked 7th worldwide in its global ranking of universities that are advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within and beyond their local communities.

According to a release from the university, this is the second year in a row Queen’s has placed in the top 10. This 2022 international competition saw participation from over 1,500 post-secondary institutions and focused on the impact made in 17 categories measuring sustainability.

Established in 2019, the THE Impact Rankings assess a university’s societal impact based on the UN’s SDGs, a set of goals outlining a universal call to action to protect the planet and its people. Using metrics and indicators across four key areas – research, teaching, outreach, and stewardship – THE ranking assesses hundreds of data points and qualitative evidence to measure the impact of higher education institutions in addressing urgent global challenges, according to the release. Since its inaugural year in 2019, participation in THE Rankings has increased from 450 institutions worldwide to 1,500 participating institutions across 110 countries in 2022. This includes 400 first-time ranked institutions and 24 Canadian universities.

“I am incredibly proud of the Queen’s community for this repeat stellar performance,” said Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. “The ranking recognizes the sustained impact we are having in our local and global communities, but also serves to inspire future action fueled by our collective intellectual curiosity, passion to achieve, and commitment to collaboration – key to our mission and values.”

According to the release, Queen’s University’s community of students, researchers, staff, and alumni all contribute to making a positive impact as measured by the UN’s 17 SDG criteria. Queen’s scored highly across a number of SDGs, including ranking in the top 3 for SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

THE Impact Rankings acknowledge Queen’s as:

  • 2nd worldwide for SDG 1: No Poverty. This is exemplified by the Commitment Scholars program, which provides financial support for students who are members of underserved or underrepresented groups and who have demonstrated leadership in, and commitment to, racial justice, social justice, or diversity initiatives, and Swipe it Forward, a peer-to-peer program that facilitates the donation of meals to students facing food insecurity.
  • 3rd worldwide for SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Queen’s supports public access to green spaces, including self-guided tours of the university’s Snodgrass Arboretum, free trail access at Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre, and the castle gardens at the Bader International Study Centre in the UK. State-of-the-art cultural facilities – including the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre – showcase world-class performing arts and collections to the community.
  • 2nd worldwide for SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. In addition to significant collaboration with all levels of government and training the next generation of policy makers through the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s supports academic freedom and is a member of the Scholars at Risk program, which arranges temporary research and teaching positions for scholars whose lives, freedom and well-being are under threat.
  • Queen’s ranks in the top 100 of 12/17 SDGs and in the top 30 of 8/17 SDGs.

“The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are unique in examining universities’ impact on society, through each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” said Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, THE. “Canada is one of the outstanding performers in this ranking, with ten universities in the world top 50 – and it is great to see Queen’s among Canada’s leading institutions, making the world top 10 and excelling in its contribution to SDG1 (No Poverty) and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), in particular. It is important to be able to identify and celebrate the work universities do to make the world a better place.”

According to the release, more than 600 pieces of submitted evidence illustrate Queen’s contributions to an inclusive, diverse, and sustainable future, including:

  • Queen’s partnership with the Karta Initiative to provide educational opportunities to low-income youth from rural India.
  • The new Queen’s Institute for Global and Population Health, created to boost research, education, service, and collaborative projects that will help advance and decolonize global health systems.
  • Black Youth in STEM, an outreach program engaging Black elementary students in science, technology, engineering, and math programming through fun, hands-on activities in a Black-positive space.
  • Leanpath Spark, a program to measure food waste and foster education and inspire action in Queen’s dining halls.
  • Supporting and connecting women of all ages through the Ban Righ Centre, dedicated to diversity and community building.
  • Queen’s reducing its carbon footprint and meeting its goal for a 35 per cent reduction in emissions between 2008 and 2020.

For more information on THE Impact Rankings and how the university is contributing to the SDGs, visit the Advancing Social Impact website. Information on Queen’s performance in the 2022 Time Higher Education Impact Rankings is available on the Queen’s University website.

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