Western ranked 3rd in the world for social, ecological and economic impact

THE Impact Rankings 2020

Western Sydney University has secured its position amongst the world’s top universities, placing an impressive 3rd overall in the 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings.

The second annual THE University Impact Rankings assesses how the global higher education sector is working towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These rankings are based on research, outreach and stewardship and are the only ranking system in the world to assess higher education’s sustainability impact.

The University has significantly improved on its performance since last year’s rankings, moving from 11th in the world to 3rd overall for its social, ecological and economic impact – an outstanding result, with more than 800 universities participating in the overall rankings for 2020, compared with 450 in 2019.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, extended his congratulations to the University community for their role in this latest international ranking success.

“Now more than ever, universities need to be trusted sources of evidence-based information, as well as institutions that can help drive social transformation,” said Professor Glover.

“These results demonstrate Western Sydney University’s ongoing commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and our leading role when it comes to addressing some of the world’s most pressing environmental, sustainability and equity issues.

“These rankings indicate that we are on the right path. We are doing our part, we are making vital contributions, and we are helping to support a more fair and equitable world, both locally and globally.”

The University is ranked in the top five worldwide for six of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The results include:

  • 2nd worldwide for SDG5 Gender Equality
  • 2nd worldwide for SDG15 Life on the Land
  • 3rd worldwide for SDG10 Reducing Inequalities
  • 3rd worldwide for SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 4th worldwide for SDG14 Life Below Water
  • 5th worldwide for SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Professor Glover said the results showcase the University’s world-class research outcomes, its innovative teaching curriculum and community engagement, as well as its sector-leading role when it comes to promoting gender equality and inclusivity, and sustainable and socially-responsible operations.

Above all, Professor Glover said the THE Impact Rankings are representative of the University’s position as an anchor institution for Greater Western Sydney – one of Australia’s most economically-important regions, and home to a culturally-diverse and vibrant community of more than two million people.

“Western Sydney is a region with its own unique economic, social and environmental challenges,” said Professor Glover.

“Themes such as reducing inequality, social justice, environmental stewardship and resilience are a key focus of our University’s own teaching, research, stewardship and engagement with our local communities.

For more details, visit the THE’s Impact Rankings website.(opens in a new window)


22 April 2020

Media Unit