Strathclyde amongst world’s top universities contributing to achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals

Earth and Space

The University of Strathclyde is amongst the top universities in the world whose work is contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021 .

Strathclyde is positioned joint-32nd in the world, up from 70th last year, first in Scotland and seventh in the UK in the latest Rankings which measure how 1,115 global higher education institutions are working towards the 17 United Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The rankings, now in their third year, focus on a wide range of issues including protecting the environment and addressing inequality through sustainable development. Institutions must submit data towards one compulsory category – SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals – and at least three further categories. Strathclyde submitted results for all 17 SDGs.

Substantial increase

An institution’s overall ranking in the table is determined by the combined score of its three best-performing SDGs and the compulsory category, which for Strathclyde were:

  • SDG 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure – joint 55th out of 680 institutions
  • SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production – 7th out of 503 institutions
  • SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – 13th out of 653 institutions

Strathclyde garnered a total of 91.7 points out of 100,  with this improved position set against a substantial increase in the number of participating institutions.

Other highlights across the SDGs include:

  • SDG1 No Poverty – 48th out of 591 institutions
  • SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth – joint 33rd out of 685 institutions
  • SDG10 Reduced Inequalities – 69th out of 669 institutions
  • SDG14 Life Below Water – 31st out of 379 institutions
  • SDG15 Life on Land – 41st out of 402 institutions

Biggest challenges

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted to see Strathclyde’s performance in this year’s THE Impact Rankings reflect the breadth and quality of the activity taking place here to tackle the biggest challenges facing our world.

Our mission at Strathclyde is to make the world a better place. The research we carry out, the education we provide, the policies we help to inform and the actions for sustainability and equality we take at our own institution all play their part.”

The SDGs were adopted by the UN in 2015 to provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way and seek to address: ending poverty and hunger; promoting good health and wellbeing; quality education; achieving gender equality; economic growth; providing access to clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; and, tackling climate change.

In October 2020, the University launched the Centre for Sustainable Development, bringing all of Strathclyde’s education, research and knowledge exchange activity on sustainable development within a single strategic approach.

The Centre will prioritise education and awareness-raising of sustainable development, apply and build expertise and research capacity in sustainability, grow international partnership working and contribute to and benefit from knowledge sharing and thought leadership.

Strathclyde will also showcase its work on SDGs at the COP26 summit due to be held in November.