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Waikato ranks in top 100 of universities globally

2 June 2023

Assistant Vice-Chancellor Sustainability Professor Lynda Johnston
Assistant Vice-Chancellor Sustainability, Professor Lynda Johnston

The University of Waikato has been recognised in the top 100 of educational institutions worldwide in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings. Retaining a place in the top 100, the University is ranked 92 out of 1,591 institutions.

Now in their fifth year, the global rankings measure participating institutions’ commitment to driving and delivering lasting change across the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Assistant Vice-Chancellor Sustainability, Professor Lynda Johnston, says the results reflect the hard work of colleagues across the University to create a lasting, positive impact for students, staff, and the wider community.

“To retain our place in the top 100 is encouraging and a reflection of the collaborative efforts by our staff across research, teaching and learning, campus operations and external engagement.”

The University of Waikato ranked in the top 100 for 8 of the 17 SDGs, most notably in SDG17 Partnership for the Goals, where it was ranked 32nd in the world, SDG14 Life below Water (34th in the world), SDG15 Life on Land (44th in the world) and SDG16 Peace Justice and Strong Institutions (48th in the world).

Professor Johnston says that the Impact Rankings particularly emphasise the work being done to create fairer futures and improve the world we live in. Something she believes makes the recognition more meaningful.

Professor Johnston notes, for example, that the Life below Water and Life on Land categories assess how universities protect and improve aquatic ecosystems and contribute to the sustainable management of land resources.

“As the provider of the world’s first Bachelor of Climate Change, ranking highly in these categories shows that we ‘walk the talk’ in advancing the SDGs and working alongside our community to take action,” says Professor Johnston.

Ranking 51st for SDG5 Gender Equality reflects how Waikato provides access and support for the academic progression of women.

Professor Johnston says she was pleased to see this recognition of the progress made to provide more equal opportunities for women within the University.

“The high score in gender equality is one that, for me personally, makes me proud to work here at Waikato. Women hold 51% of the University’s leadership roles, and last year we launched the Waikato Women in Leadership programme to support emerging female leaders within the University to build capability and confidence.”

University of Waikato top 100 THE Impact Rankings 2023:

  • SDG17 Partnership for the Goals =32
  • SDG14 Life below Water 34
  • SDG15 Life on Land 44
  • SDG16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 48
  • SDG5 Gender Equality =51
  • SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation =69
  • SDG10 Reduced Inequalities =79
  • SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth =81

About THE Impact Rankings

THE Impact Rankings are released each year by Times Higher Education and are the first global initiative of its kind. Now in their fifth year, the rankings measure participating institutions worldwide and their commitment to driving and delivering lasting change across the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The rankings provide a powerful catalyst for action, holding universities accountable and offering them an invaluable opportunity to showcase their exceptional work in addressing the SDGs.

In 2023, 1,591 institutions participated in the rankings worldwide.


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