THE Impact Overview

 SDG Image

The Times Higher Education (THE) launched a new ranking in 2018/19 known as the, THE Impact Rankings.  The aim of this new ranking is to capture universities' impact on society based on the institution's success in delivering the United Nations seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN has outlined these 17 SDGs with the aim of achieving a better and a more sustainable future for all by 2030. The goals address the global changes we face including poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. Per the Times Higher Education (THE) the purpose of this new ranking is to  “provide a showcase for the work being delivered by universities in our communities, and it is an opportunity to shine a light on institutional activities and efforts not covered in other rankings. It allows THE to demonstrate the differences a university is making to the world we live in”.

In 2019/20, NUI Galway submitted an application for the Overall THE University Impact Rankings, in order to apply for an overall rank a university must submit data for at least four out of the seventeen SDGs with "SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals" being compulsory.  A submission can then be made for any additional three SDGs to achieve an overall impact rank. In 2019/20 NUI Galway submitted data for the compulsory "SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals" and an additional six of the total SDGs. The Times Higher then publish the results for the Universities best four of all the SDGs submitted. See details of each of the SDGs and the metrics required for each of the SDGs in the poster.

In the first year of this ranking, 2018/19 NUI Galway submitted data for just one of the SDG's Good Health & Wellbeing and achieved a rank of 20/400 institutions. See the entire THE Ranking results in this Goal SDG 3 published in 2019:

Webinar hosted by THE on the Impact Rankings

This webinar hosted by the Times Higher Education, August 2020 highlights some key points regarding the Impact Rankings.

 

2020 Results

In 2019/20 NUI Galway's submitted an application for seven out of the total of seventeen SDGs, including the overall Impact rank, and achieved a rank 68th out of 767 institutions in, the  2020 World Impact Rankings results published in April 2020.  In addition, NUI Galway achieved individual ranks for the 7 SDGs, see results below for each of the SDGs.

The Impact Rankings based on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals was launched in 2018/19. A university can choose to apply for a rank in any number of the 17 SDGs. However, in order to obtain an overall Impact Rank, a university must submit for the SDG 17 – Partnership for Goals and at least three other SDGs. If a university applies for more SDGs, Times Higher will select the best four results for inclusion in the overall Impact Rank. In its inaugural Year, 2018/19 NUI Galway submitted for one SDG Rank– SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing and achieved a global rank of 20 in this SDG. 

See the results below of all SDGs which NUI Galway applied for and see the 2020 World Impact Rankings results here.

NUI Galway receives an Overall Rank 68th/767

  • SDG 14 Life below Water 10th /242
    Measuring the University’s research on life below water and efforts at supporting, educating and sustaining aquatic ecosystems both locally and globally, NUI Galway were ranked in the Top 10 for education and actions to support aquatic ecosystems, both locally and globally.  
  • SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities  43/470
    This measures the university’s research on sustainability, our role as custodian of arts and heritage and our internal efforts on practicing and promoting sustainability. NUI Galway performed particularly well for its research and support for sustaining and promoting Arts and Heritage.
  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy  43/361
    This measures the University’s research related to efficient energy consumption, our own energy use and policies and our commitment to promoting energy efficiency in the wider community. NUI Galway was awarded Energy Team of the Year at last year’s Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland awards.  At 36% energy reduction, NUI Galway continues to work towards an ambitious target of a 40% energy reduction by 2020.
  • SDG 17 Partnership for the Goals 47/807
    This measures the broader ways in which the University supports the UN SDGs though collaboration with other countries, the promotion of best practices and the publication of data for informing research and decision making. The University has a long tradition of partnership regionally and globally on projects for the benefit of communities. 
  • SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions  70/453
    Measuring the University’s research on Law, Human rights and international relations, and our participation as advisors and influencers of government policy, the University performed particularly well for its research and work with government and policy makers.
  • SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing 100-200/620
    This measures the University’s research on key diseases and conditions, international collaborations with global health organisations and its support for healthcare professions and the health of students and staff.
  • SDG 9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure 101-200/494
    This measures universities’ research on industry and innovation, their number of patents and spin-off companies and their research income from industry.

SDG 2019 Results

In 2019, NUI Galway achieved a rank of 20 out of the 400 universities in the SDG Good Health and Wellbeing, published by THE March 2019. This was the first iteration of the THE Impact Rankings, NUI Galway submitted data just one of the SDGs and chose to participate in this goal due to the good contributions our university has made in this goal over the recent years. 

 This is a very positive result for NUI Galway and demonstrates the vast strides we have made in this Sustainable Development Goal.

 The following questions and supporting evidence were asked by THE to participate in this SDG 3 Ranking:

1. Graduates: Please provide the number of graduates in 2017 at your university 

  •                 Total Graduates
  •                 Total at Bachelor level
  •                 Total at Masters Level
  •                 Total at Doctoral Level

 2. Graduates in Health Professions: Please provide the number of graduates in 2017 at your university  

  •                 Total Graduates in Health Professions
  •                 Total at Bachelor level in Health Professions
  •                 Total at Masters Level in Health Professions
  •                 Total at Doctoral Level in Health Professions

  3. Health Impact- Does your University have current  collaborations with local or global health institutions to improve health & wellbeing outcomes (evidence must be provided)

  • Local collaborations
  • National collaborations
  • Global collaborations

4. Outreach-Does your University  share sports facilities with the local community, for instance with local schools or with the general public (evidence must be provided)

  • With free access
  • With charged access

5 a. Health Services-Does your University provide students access to free sexual and reproductive health-care services including information and education services (evidence must be provided)

5 b.Provide students and staff with access to free mental health support

 

Sustainable Development Goals

 See the list of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations and a short summary of what the Times Higher Education University Rankings focus on in each of the SDGs below. See the SDGs highlighted, which NUI Galway applied made a submission for in the Times Higher University Ranking.
See more details of what is required for each of the SDGs for a university's submission in the, THE Rankings detailed guide for SDG 1-17.

 United Nations 17 SDGs 
1. No Hunger This ranking focuses on universities’ research on poverty and their support for poor students and poor members of their local community.
2. Zero Hunger This ranking focuses on universities’ research on hunger, their teaching on food sustainability and their commitment to tackle food waste and address hunger among students and local communities
3. Good Health and Wellbeing This ranking focuses on universities’ research on the key conditions and diseases that have a disproportionate impact on health outcomes across the world, their support for healthcare professions, and the health of students and staff. It is not a general measure of a university’s medical teaching and research.
4. Quality Education This ranking focuses on universities’ contribution to early years and lifelong learning, their pedagogy research and their commitment to inclusive education. As early years provision and lifelong learning are not the main focus of education at universities, this table should not be used to assess the overall quality of teaching at a university.
5.Gender Equality This ranking focuses on universities’ research on the study of gender, their policies on gender equality and their commitment to recruiting and promoting women. The SDG itself phrases this explicitly as supporting women. We cannot hope to develop the world sustainably if the needs of over half of our population are not addressed.
6.Clean Water and Sanitation This ranking focuses on universities’ research related to water, their water usage and their commitment to ensuring good water management in the wider community.
7.Affordable and Clean Energy This ranking focuses on universities’ research related to energy, their energy use and policies, and their commitment to promoting energy efficiency in the wider community.
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth This ranking focuses on universities’ role as an engine for economic growth and their responsibilities as employers. It explores institutions’ economics research, their employment practices and the share of students taking work placements.
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure This ranking focuses on universities’ role of fostering innovation and serving the needs of industry. It explores institutions’ research on industry and innovation, their number of patents and spin-off companies and their research income from industry.
10. Reduced Inequalities This ranking focuses on universities’ research on social inequalities, their policies on discrimination and their commitment to recruiting staff and students from under-represented groups.
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities  The focus of this ranking goes beyond the traditional view of sustainability as being about stewardship of resources to also look at the role of a university in sustaining and preserving the heritage of communities. It explores institutions’ research on sustainability, their role as custodians of arts and heritage and their internal approaches to sustainability.
12. Responsible Consumption and Production This ranking focuses on the efficient use of resources and minimising waste. Universities must play their part in ensuring that their consumption is minimised, especially where resources are not renewable.
13. Climate Action This ranking explores universities’ research on climate change, their use of energy and their preparations for dealing with the consequences of climate change.
14. Life Below Water This ranking explores universities’ research on life below water and their education on and support for aquatic ecosystems.
15. Life on Land This ranking explores universities’ research on life on land and their education on and support for land ecosystems.
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions This ranking focuses on how universities can support strong institutions in its country and promote peace and justice. It explores universities’ research on law and international relations, their participation as advisers for government and their policies on academic freedom.
17. Partnership for the Goals This ranking looks at the broader ways in which universities support the SDGs through collaboration with other countries, the promotion of best practices and the publication of data. Unless all partners work together towards the SDGs, they cannot be achieved. This is the only compulsory SDG for inclusion in the overall rankings. It is also worth a smaller proportion of the final score in the overall table.

A university can choose to apply for a rank in all 17 SDGs and the Times Higher will select the best four results. In 2019/20 NUI Galway's submitted an application for seven out of the total of seventeen SDGs.

  1. SDG 17 Partnership & Goals
  2. SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing
  3. SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  4. SDG 9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
  5. SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
  6. SDG 14 Life below Water
  7. SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

SDG Methodology

The methodology and the percentage weighting for each of the metrics within each of the SDGs are outlined here.

As per the THE "The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings measure global universities’ success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Here, we explain how we arrived at the results

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Three broad areas across each of the SDGs are used to capture comprehensive and balanced comparisons:
  1. Research, 
  2. Outreach 
  3. Stewardship"

In order to qualify for an overall university rank in the THE rankings, a university must apply to four of the SDGs with SDG 17 "Partnership and Goals" being compulsory..

The weighting for each of the SDGs is: 

  • SDG 17=22%   Partnership&Goals
  • SDG A= 26%   (any SDG from the remaining SDG1-SDG16)
  • SDG B =26%   (any SDG from the remaining SDG1-SDG16)
  • SDG C =26%   (any SDG from the remaining SDG1-SDG16)

    TOTAL = 100%

A university can choose to apply for a rank in all 17 SDGs and the Times Higher will select the best four results. 
NUI Galway's 2019/20 application consisted of 7/17 SDGs.

 

Webinar hosted by THE on the Impact Rankings

This webinar hosted by the Times Higher Education, August 2020 highlights some key points regarding the Impact Rankings.