University of Leeds Ranks Third in UK in THE Impact Rankings

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Times Higher Education (THE) has released its Impact Rankings 2020 where it evaluated the performance of universities based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the University of Leeds achieving the 11th position with an overall score of 94.1 and third in the UK. The University of Leeds (UoL) tied with the University of Newcastle in the overall ranking. 

The league includes more than 700 institutions worldwide with the 17 SDGs were created by the United Nations “to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” by 2030. The University of Leeds achieved its highest score in the category Partnerships for the goals (98.7). This focuses on the relationship between different countries to achieve the common goal of a sustainable future, in both the private and public sector. 

According to data from the United Nations in 2018, aid to the continent of Africa decreased by 4% while the absence of technologies in developing countries only allows 45% of people to be online. 

The second-highest score the UoL achieved was in the SDG responsible consumption and production (87.2). This aims at consuming and producing more eco-friendly supplies of energy, food and reducing our impact on the environment. The United Nations claims in fact that a person from an upper class consumes 60% more resources than a poorer counterpart. 

The UoL achieved a score of 81.2 in the category No Poverty. Around 10% of people worldwide still struggle with acute poverty as they can’t access fundamental rights like healthcare, education and decent hygienic facilities. One of the goals in this category is to cut in half the number of individuals who have to live in this tragic and inhumane conditions.

One of the lowest scores given to the UoL was in the category of Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. This low rating was obtained even though the institution has a whole website dedicated to the Sustainability Strategy where students and staff collaborate together to achieve a more eco-friendly approach on campus. 

Referring to the THE Impact Rankings 2020, Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands said: “The University is unfailing in its commitment to creating a sustainable future, and our education and research will continue to be sharpened through the lens of social, economic and environmental impact on a global scale.” 

THE also recently released its World University Rankings in which the UoL obtained the 155th position. The category in which the institution achieved the lowest score out of a 100, was Industry Income (39.9) and the University has gone down of over 20 ranking positions since 2016. 

Moreover in the University League Tables 2020 created by The Complete University Guide, UoL was 14th, one position down since last year. Even though its overall ranking worsened, the institution still achieved high scores in Student Satisfaction (4.09/5), Degree Completion (92.4/100) and Research Intensity (0.75/1). 

The reviews by students also express these positive scores with ratings of four stars or higher (out of five). 

When asked about their university experience so far, pupils wrote comments saying:

“I like the university, facilities and how people treat you”, “Good, only issue is the cost of living” and “very welcoming with great academic and social aspects”. 

In What Uni’s student union rankings, Leeds University Union came fourth with a score of 4.37/5 out of 131 universities, based on their student rating summary. Students’ unions who were marked higher were Sheffield, Loughborough and Cardiff. These awards are especially useful for future university students as they rank institutions based on thousands of reviews collected on campus. To create the 2019 ranking, more than 40,000 opinions of students from 150 institutions were considered.

Main image credited to George Stamets. See more of his photos on Flickr, Instagram or website