University Rankings as a Tool for Social Impact – Stanford Social Innovation Review

Written by Duncan Ross

Times Higher Education has been producing university rankings since 2004, both to comment on the higher education sector and to serve as as an advocate for it, and in 2017, we began developing a set of university rankings based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated not only our planet’s interconnected nature but the urgency of building sustainability, and the 17 interlinked SDGs serve as a road map toward a more sustainable, resilient future. All elements of society need to play their part, and we believe that higher education is well-positioned to demonstrate its relevance to society by placing the SDGs at the center of best practices.

By bringing together sustainability and higher education, we believe we can both demonstrate the progress that universities are making and support them in moving more quickly and effectively toward delivering on the goals. We’ve been in the business of ranking universities for a while, but as we’ve learned how to collect and analyze data over almost two decades, we’ve also learned how influential these rankings can be. We realized we had an opportunity to leverage our core competence in rankings as a strategic lever in the field of higher education, to fashion something new and evaluate a different kind of game: social impact.

Read more here.

By Jessica Yap-Chung
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