Manchester’s societal impact is best in Europe according to new ranking

The University of Manchester ranks as the best higher education institution (HEI) in Europe – and in the top three globally – for its social and environmental impact across its full range of functions.

The prestigious new ranking comes in the inaugural Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. Manchester was competing against more than 500 universities from around the world.

The ranking is based on the “societal impact” of the University’s research using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a framework.

The seventeen SDGs came into effect in 2016 and have the support of 193 Member States of the United Nations. They are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. They include challenges such as; climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities.

Manchester sits joint third in the global rankings, tied with the University of British Colombia (UBC) and trailing McMaster University in 2nd, both of which are based in Canada. The world’s highest performer was New Zealand’s University of Auckland.

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility at the University, said: “The SDGs are our world’s call to action on the most important challenges facing our people and planet. Being recognised as Europe’s highest ranking University in this new index – and third in the world overall – is a brilliant reflection of the work of our researchers, teachers, students, professional services and cultural institution staff, enhancing our global reputation as a leader on social responsibility and impact.”

Dr Skyrme added: “Staff, students, alumni and external partners should take enormous pride in this success since it covers a wide variety of our societal and environmental impacts – our research impact, cultural institutions, civic and global outreach, professional services policies and processes, inclusion programmes, and contributions to economic wellbeing.”