Newcastle named #1 university in the world for partnering for a more sustainable future

NSW Energy and Resources Knowledge Hub among University of Newcastle's suite of sustainability initiatives


The 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings have been released, with the University of Newcastle named as the leading university in the world for partnering for a better world.

This year's annual THE Impact Rankings saw a total of 1,240 global universities across the globe assessed against the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), which ultimately aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The overall ranking is determined by each university’s performance against SDG 17 plus their three best scoring goals.

The University of Newcastle was ranked the number one in the world in SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals. SDG 17 is arguably the most competitive ranking as it is the only compulsory goal for assessment, recognising that a sustainable future can only be realised with shared vision, strong partnerships and cooperation. Under SDG17, THE looks for evidence that the University contributes to national government SDG policy development, and collaborates across sectors, with NGOs, and internationally to tackle SDGs.

With an overall impact ranking of 12th in the world (up 33 places from 2020), the University of Newcastle has been recognised for its strategic commitment to a world that is equitable, sustainable and prosperous for all.

The University’s overall impact ranking was also made up of SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy (#3 in the world); SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing (#12 in the world); and SDG 15 – Life on Land (#17 in the world).

Partnerships committed to the pursuit of UN SDGs include with Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), the Hunter SDG taskforce, the NSW Energy and Resources Knowledge Hub, the World Technologies University Network, the Pacific Node research program and CIFAL Newcastle – a United Nations International Training Centre - to name just a few.

The UN SDGs underpin the University of Newcastle’s Looking Ahead Strategic Plan. In aligning its activities with the UN SDGs, the University of Newcastle continues to serve its regions, taking research that matters to the world.

“To be among the most impactful universities in the world striving for a better future for all and for the planet is evidence that our strategy is being translated into real actions,” Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Excellence, Professor Jennifer Milam said.

“The impact results are validation the University of Newcastle is living its values and succeeding in its commitment to both local and global communities,” she said.

Read more about the methodology behind the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings here.

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