The University of Sydney has been named one of the top universities in the world for accelerating the pace of environmental and social change.
The University placed equal fifth globally and equal first in Australia in the new QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2023, ranking 700 institutions globally, including 33 from Australia, on how their research, teaching and community engagement tackles the world’s greatest environmental, social and governance challenges.
Ranked fifth globally for the overall Social Impact category, the University also ranked third globally and first in Australia in the Equality indicator, with a near perfect score of 99.8 out of 100. This ranking was driven by policies and programs to address equity, diversity and inclusion, research to propel workplace gender equality and the recent appointments of several senior female executives.
In the overall Environmental Impact category, the University placed 11th globally and is among the top 20 in two of this category’s indicators. The University’s ambitious Sustainability Strategy focuses on four areas: enriching lives through research and education; enabling resilient places and a responsible footprint; empowering good governance and coordination; and caring for the country and embracing multiple knowledge systems.
The acknowledgment comes as the University launches a new Sustainability Major exploring diverse perspectives on sustainability, open to students from 2023.
“We are building a generation of students who will learn personal, social and professional skills that contribute to the development of a sustainable future. Starting from next year, these new students will be tomorrow’s leaders, equipped to generate creative and adaptive solutions to complex socioecological sustainability problems,” said Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott.
“We put sustainability at the heart of our campus operations, environments and engagement activities and we welcomed the opportunity to participate in these inaugural rankings to demonstrate accountability and transparency in our broad and global commitment to sustainability. This commitment includes enriching lives through research and education, and creating resilient places and a responsible environmental footprint.”
All campuses are powered by 100% renewable electricity and the University is helping Australian businesses implement net zero emissions technologies, advising governments on climate change and ‘black summer’ bushfires, and pioneering green technologies, including a novel way to turn plastic waste into an asset.
“We are building a generation of students who will learn personal, social and professional skills that contribute to the development of a sustainable future,”
These rankings also place the University among the world’s top five institutions for Impact of Education, where it received its second highest score, 99.2 out of 100. This result shines a light on research impact and quality in areas such as education, politics, social policy and law, as well as the institution’s commitment to academic freedom and the impact its alumni have in the education sector and in education policy.
In other rankings results this year, the University of Sydney performed strongly in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, jumping four places to 54th globally.
In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) the University improved nine places globally to 60th. In the Shanghai Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, it recorded 14 research areas in the top 50 globally, including nursing (seventh), telecommunication engineering (9th) and transportation science and technology (10th). In the QS World University Rankings released in June, the University ranked 41st in the world.