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 third in the world. The rankings measured over 1,700 post-secondary institutions and Queen’s is the only Canadian university to achieve three separate top-10 placements since the rankings began in 2019.
According to a release from the University dated Thursday, Jun. 1, 2023, the SDGs were established by UN member nations in 2015 to guide global action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure shared peace and prosperity for all people by 2030.
“It is an honour to be recognized for our institution’s ongoing contributions to advancing the SDGs. These goals are reflective of the university’s mission and our desire to be recognized as a global institution,” said Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The Impact Rankings have played an instrumental role in bringing together our community by creating a focus on the numerous ways Queen’s is engaged in solving the world’s most pressing challenges. Our performance in the rankings tells us that we are on the right track, and our efforts are having an impact.”
The Impact Rankings evaluate universities’ activities across four important areas—research, teaching, outreach, and stewardship—using a wide range of quantitative and qualitative data points. Queen’s reportedly submitted more than 400 pieces of evidence to illustrate its contributions towards an inclusive, diverse, and sustainable future.
According to the university, in this year’s evaluation, THE Impact Rankings assessed Queen’s as:
- First in the world for SDG 2: Zero Hunger. Queen’s University has implemented several initiatives to help address food insecurity on campus and provide short-term immediate support. Swipe it Forward Queen’s is an initiative to help address food insecurity on campus and provide short-term, immediate support to students in need. Students on meal plans have the option to donate up to five meals per semester to a student in need. The Queen’s PEACH Market collects untouched food from food service operations on campus and distributes it through a “pay what you can” model to people experiencing food insecurity on campus and in the broader community. (Editorial note: It should be noted that the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 901 recently called on Queen’s for further funding to address food insecurity among the graduate students it represents.)
- 2nd in the world, 1st in Canada for SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Queen’s Model Parliament is the oldest and largest initiative of its kind in Canada and is a student-led event where around 300 students from all faculties get a chance to take a seat in Canada’s House of Commons and experience the legislative process by forming political parties, running for office, drafting bills, and debating these bills on the floor.
- 7th in the world, 3rd in Canada for SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Queen’s is committed to recording and preserving aspects of cultural heritage such as local folklore, traditions, language, and knowledge. Our Office of Indigenous Initiatives – Art on Campus program has installed artwork can across campus from many different Indigenous nations, as well as an outdoor plaque that identifies the Indigenous land the university sits on. The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, or “The Isabel” as it is fondly known, hosts public performances, bringing local, national, and internationally renowned artists, musicians, and performers of all genres to the local community.
“Our performance in this year’s rankings confirms that Queen’s is realizing its aspirations to be a university that effects real, positive change at the local, national, and global level,” Deane said. “Our community is working together to improve our world and to help shape a better future for all of us and the planet.”
The 2023 rankings evaluated submissions from 117 countries, including 26 Canadian universities, and saw an overall increase in worldwide institutional participation by 11 per cent over last year, according to the release.