In the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings of global universities that are advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within and beyond their local communities, Queen’s University has placed first in Canada and fifth in the world. The rankings measured over 1,200 post-secondary institutions and focused on the impact made in 17 categories measuring sustainability.
Established in 2019, 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 improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere, according to a release from Queen’s University, dated Wednesday, Apr. 21, 2021. Using carefully calibrated indicators across four broad areas – research, outreach, teaching, and stewardship – THE Impact Rankings are a recognition of those who are working today to build a better tomorrow.
“At Queen’s we believe our community – our people – will help solve the world’s most significant and urgent challenges through our intellectual curiosity, passion to achieve, and commitment to collaboration,” said Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s University, in a statement. “We are humbled to be recognized in this way for the impact we’re having in our local and global communities, but we recognize how much still needs to be done. We are, however, pleased to know we are on the right track, and have our eyes set even more firmly on the future.”
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, according to the release. Queen’s scored highly across a number of SDGs, including in SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities), and SDG 15 (Life on Land), where Queen’s placed in the top 10 worldwide. For both SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), Queen’s ranks first in the world.
THE Impact Rankings acknowledged Queen’s as:
- 1st worldwide for SDG 1 ‘No Poverty,’ and SDG 16 ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’. This was exemplified by Promise Scholars, a program designed to reduce financial barriers and increase access to Queen’s for local, first-generation students. The university also helps the next generation of policy makers through programs and research led by the School of Policy Studies, in addition to significant collaboration with all levels of government.
- A leader in advancing programs that promote equal access, equity, and diversity because of initiatives like: the Queen’s Equity Locator App, a map of accessible and gender neutral spaces, and specialized pathway programs for Indigenous and Black students.
- Queen’s supports air, land and water ecosystems through initiatives such as Queen’s Climate Action Plan, which is committed to climate neutrality by 2040; the Queen’s University Biological Station, one of Canada’s premier scientific field stations; and the Beaty Water Research Centre, which fosters interdisciplinary research and outreach in water governance, sustainability, and protection.
“Canada’s universities are actively demonstrating the fundamental role they will play in helping solve some of the world’s greatest challenges as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” said Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education. “In a year that has seen record levels of participation in the Impact Rankings, with 1,240 universities from 98 countries and regions, it is wonderful to see the success of Queen’s University in helping to ensure a sustainable future for global society.”
Other highlights from the over 600 pieces of evidence submitted illustrate Queen’s contributions to an inclusive, diverse, and sustainable future, including:
- The PhD Community Initiative, which pairs students from interdisciplinary backgrounds with local organizations to address community issues or challenges.
- State-of-the-art cultural facilities – including the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre – showcasing world-class performing arts and collections.
- Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) at Queen’s, which supports a collaborative network of over 2,100 investigators to find the treatments that give people with cancer longer, better quality lives.
- The Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) and Compass North program, which enable students and local women entrepreneurs to build sustainable start-ups through courses, workshops, internships, seminars, conferences, and competitions.
- The Smith School of Business’ Certificate in Social Impact, which helps students learn how to integrate social impact into core business strategies and business models.
“Building on this track record of sustainability, while accelerating development and partnerships at home and abroad, Queen’s will stay focused on developing the leaders of tomorrow to advance global initiatives and make a lasting imprint on our communities,” said Principal Deane.
More information on the Time Higher Education Impact Rankings and Queen’s submission are now available on the Queen’s University website.