The university of Sussex has ranked 41st in the Times Higher Education World Impact Rankings 2021 and ninth highest out of UK universities. A total of 1,115 institutions were ranked.

Impact rankings are based on performance on delivering a number of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Scores are calculated by combining its top three scores out of any of the 17 SDGS with its score in the specific SDG named ‘Partnerships for the Goals.’ In other words, universities have been scored on different SDGS, depending on what their focus areas are. Along with the ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ SDG for which it ranked 31st, Sussex was also ranked on the following:

  • No poverty: 10th place
  • Sustainable cities and communities: 26th place
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions: 41st place

Adam Tickell said: 

“The Sustainable Development Goals are an urgent call to action and our best hope for a global response to the existential issues our planet faces.

“Delivering on the SDGs is critical if we are to make this a better world for all, which is why we are placing the SDGs at the very heart of our emerging sustainability strategy.

“This ranking is a welcome reminder of how much progress we’ve already made and heartening evidence that we are ready to lead the way in global higher education.”

Professor in sustainability at Keele University, Zoe Robinson, however, told Times Higher Education that cuts to research funding from overseas aid could undermine UK performance on the league tables. With funding from the UK’s foreign aid budget to overseas research projects set to be cut by nearly £300 million (70 percent), UK Research and Innovation has decided to stop funding for most overseas projects after cuts in government funding left it with a £120 million shortfall. Over 3,600 academics signed an open letter against the decision which could lead to projects in developing countries to be cancelled.

The University of Manchester was ranked 1st on the league table, making it the first time a UK university has lead the rankings. The highest ranking institution from an ‘emerging economy’ is Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, at 23rd place.

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