04 April 2019

The University of South Australia has ranked 22 in the world for overall University Impact in the inaugural Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, which measures how well universities perform against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The new ranking is a bid to capture the impact of universities in society, beyond a single definition of their role as educators, and measures institutions against a subset of the 17 SDGs.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the new rankings bring an important perspective into discussions of the success of the world’s universities. 

“We make a lot of presumptions about the influence of universities in society and take for granted that they make a positive impact, but this is the first time we have had a measure of that,” Pro Lloyd says.

“I am really pleased to see we have performed well in these rankings, particularly in the rating for Reduced Inequalities (UniSA ranked #3 globally), acknowledging the great work of UniSA College, our regional campuses and education hubs and UniSA Online and our partnerships with groups such as AIME, which is designed to support and nurture young Aboriginal people and open up educational opportunities.

“It also underlines the importance and value of the cross-cultural training we provide for our staff and the commitments we have made institutionally to reconciliation actions.

“UniSA has a foundational commitment to equity, to providing opportunities for Aboriginal students and recognition of Aboriginal knowledges, and to being engaged with the community in a way that encourages the sharing of knowledge, understanding and ideas. 

“As our University grows, responds to changing demographics, changing technologies and indeed changing higher education funding models - maintaining and improving our commitment to equity, access and engagement, is core.”

UniSA was ranked #8 globally and #1 in Australia for Quality Education, reflecting UniSA’s educational outreach through vibrant public programs such as The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public lecture program, Samstag Museum of Art, and the MOD. (Museum of Discovery) among other engagements. 

Prof Lloyd says UniSA’s strong rating for Good Health and Well-being (ranked #13 globally) acknowledged the important work of UniSA public clinics in podiatry, physiotherapy, and psychology and the role UniSA plays in educating a high-quality professional health workforce and in conducting industry-partnered research in a wide range of health disciplines - research that is making a big impact on policy, practice and treatments. 

The rankings include a group of more than 450 universities from 76 countries around the world.

UniSA was assessed in seven categories, looking at Reduced Inequality, Quality Education, Good Health and Wellbeing, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Partnership for the Goals. 

“It will be interesting to see how this particular set of rankings evolves in the next few years – I think it is an important measure of what universities can do to influence better, more sustainable and fairer communities,” Prof Lloyd says.

“As we continue to deliver outstanding programs, underpinned by world-class research translated into real world benefits, we will also be conscious of the UN goals for sustainable development and how we can continue to have a positive impact in society.” 

UniSA media contact:

Michèle Nardelli phone: +61 418 823 673 or +61 882960854 email: michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au

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