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Source: The Pie Date: June 21, 2024

After Times Higher Education (THE) released its Impact Rankings for 2024 last week, The PIE News looks at which universities made it into the top 10 most sustainable HE institutions.

Now in its sixth year, the rankings – published last week – highlighted universities from around the globe that are leading the charge in global sustainable development.

HE institutions in Australasia dominated the top end of the list, having the most universities ranked in the overall 10 most sustainable universities among over 2,000 submissions.

THE noted that “some institutions and regions are making more progress than others”.

“Oceania, in particular Australia, is a region that takes sustainability extremely seriously. We see this each year when the tables are published, and 2024 is no different,” it said.

All participating universities were ranked on how well they adhered to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The top 10 features four universities from Australia – up from three in 2023 – and two from the UK, while North American and Danish universities also got nods.

In a Voices article for The PIE this week, assistant vice-chancellor engagement at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Brett Berquist, highlighted that there were only around 500 submissions from 75 countries for THE’s inaugural list in 2018, and that this has shot up to over 2,000 submissions from a whopping 125 countries in 2024.

“It’s daunting for international students to choose an overseas university from thousands and rankings help families narrow down their choices,” he wrote for The PIE. “The more recent focus on sustainability and impact has brought us new and challenging ways to think about our work and how it matters to society.”

It marks the third time in a row that Western Sydney University has been at the top of the list and the second consecutive year that the University of Manchester has been runner up.

Meanwhile, there were no universities in Asia or the Middle East that placed in the top 10 for the 2024 rankings, despite Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University, Malaysia’s Universiti Sains Malaysia and Japan’s Hokkaido University all having performed strongly in either 2022 or 2023.

Queen’s University in Canada continued to perform strongly, placing in the top 10 every year since 2022. But having risen to third place in 2023 from seventh in 2022, it dropped to eighth this year, lagging behind UNSW Sydney and the University of Alberta.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Western University fell out of the top 10 in 2024 and placed 21st, despite having sat in joint ninth place in 2023 and third place in 2022.



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