According to the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings (2022), released in the first week of May, several SDSN South Africa universities moved up convincingly in the rankings which are based on the 17 SDGs which in turn are designed to address the most serious and critical global challenges in the world. The SDGs offer an integrated framework for ensuring that global development balances social, economic and environmental sustainability.
There are 80 African universities in 10 countries featured in the Impact Rankings 2022 produced by Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings. They are among 1,524 institutions from 110 countries ranked globally, based on their impacts on the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each university was rated on four goals including SDG 17, "Partnerships for the Goals".
The University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria (UP) have been named South Africa’s joint second-best universities and with UP ranking as Africa’s third-best (joint third) university.
Nelson Mandela University also joined the top 400-600 universities in the world. ranked highly in SDGs 3, 14 and 15, as well as moving up to fifth spot nationally.
The University of Cape Town also made a strong showing once again in SDGs 1, 5, 16 and 17, coming in strongest in the country for SDGs 5 and 17. In addition, UP is ranked first in South Africa in SDGs 9 and 15 and second in SDGs 3, 16 and 17
The Impact Rankings offers a way to gauge a higher education institution’s performance on the international stage in terms of the widely adopted SDGs. A university’s overall score – and thus rank – is determined by its combined performance in its top three SDGs (each weighting 26%, with SDG 17 weighting 22%). Using calibrated metrics and indicators across four key areas – research, teaching, outreach and stewardship – the rankings assess hundreds of quantitative and qualitative evidence that tangibly measure the impact of higher education institutions in addressing urgent global challenges.
Eighty African universities in 10 countries featured in the Impact Rankings. Commenting on the performance of African universities, Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at the THE World University Rankings, stated: “As the Impact Rankings focus on social and economic impact, through universities’ contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, we can recognise niche strengths and uncover real pockets of excellence across the African continent.” It is clear that African universities are taking a lead in improving social realities and are taking pride in their contribution towards this.
Since the launch of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network South Africa this year, the objective of which is to mobilise and support South African universities and other leading research institutions to promote the SDGs in South Africa as well as South Africa’s contribution to the SDGs globally.
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