UOW a global leader for social and economic impact

UOW a global leader for social and economic impact

University 13th in the world in inaugural THE University Impact Rankings

The University of Wollongong (UOW) has been ranked equal 13th in the world, and second in Australia, in the first ever THE University Impact Rankings, released today (4 April 2019).

The new impact rankings demonstrate the difference the University is making to the world we live in and the positive impact it is delivering to communities locally, nationally and globally.

More than 500 institutions from 75 countries across six continents took part in the new rankings. Where other international university rankings focus largely on research and teaching excellence, the THE (Times Higher Education) University Impact Rankings measure universities’ social and economic impact based on their success in delivering outcomes addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As such, the rankings acknowledge that research and teaching are not universities’ only missions, and that innovation and knowledge exchange is also a core mission for universities worldwide.

For the inaugural rankings, THE focused on a subset of 11 Sustainable Development Goals: good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; peace, justice and strong institutions; and partnership for the goals.

Each university’s overall ranking is based on how they performed on one mandatory Sustainable Development Goal – partnership for the goals (SDG 17) – plus their top three other Sustainable Development Goals. Universities could submit data on as many or as few of the SDGs as they wished.

UOW ranked 13th in the world in the mandatory partnership for the goals (SDG 17); 6th in the world for reduced inequalities (SDG 10); 13th for sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11); and 18th for quality education (SDG 4).

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Professor Jennifer Martin AC said that placing equal 13th in the world in the University Impact Rankings was an exceptional achievement.

“This result confirms UOW’s dedicated to research and innovation that addresses real-world problems and makes a difference. The ranking the University has achieved with regard to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals shows that the work we are doing truly is helping to make the world a better place,” Professor Martin said.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings CBE said UOW’s high ranking confirmed its reputation as a global leader in discovery and learning that was working to transform lives and the world we live in.

“This is a fantastic endorsement of the work the University is doing. We are proud to be an inaugural participant in the THE University Impact Rankings, and proud to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” Professor Wellings said.

“The University’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals starts with our own workplaces and practices and carries through to our teaching and research and out to the communities we work in and the partners we work with.”

“This is a result the whole University community can take pride in.”

UOW elected to make submissions on nine of the 11 SDGs. In addition to the results listed above, UOW was ranked 11th in the world for peace, justice and strong institutions; 24th in the world for gender equality; 65th in the world for decent work and economic growth; equal 78th in the world for good health and wellbeing; and in the 101-200 band for industry, innovation and infrastructure.


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the UN in 2016 to provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way.

They include ending poverty and hunger; promoting good health and well-being and quality education; achieving gender equality and economic growth; providing access to clean water and sanitation and affordable and clean energy; fostering innovation; reducing inequalities; building sustainable cities and communities and achieving responsible consumption and production; tackling climate change; managing sustainably life below water and life on land; promoting peaceful societies; and revitalising global partnerships.

Click on the links below for more on how UOW researchers are addressing issues relating to the UN SDGs, including: partnership for the goals; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; quality education; gender equality; and decent work and economic growth.