THE Impact Rankings 2020: universities play key role in pandemic recovery

Universities' impact on local communities is vital to strengthen society, writes Ellie Bothwell

七月 9, 2020
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Source: Getty

As Times Higher Education was collecting and analysing data for the second edition of the Impact Rankings, Covid-19 was spreading across the globe. Universities the world over were shutting their campuses, students and academics were retreating into their homes, and teaching and research collaborations were moving online.  

When the ranking results were revealed on 22 April most of the world was still under lockdown.

The Impact Rankings are the only global league table to assess the social and economic impact of universities, using metrics based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. But perhaps there is no better illustration of the value and worth of universities than their response to the pandemic itself.  

Higher education institutions have been at the forefront of the fight against the virus, working overtime to find a vaccine, provide medical supplies and offer expert guidance to governments.

They have developed innovative new ways of teaching online and ensuring that campuses can reopen for the next academic year while adhering to social distancing laws and guidelines.

They have also proved that they are true pillars of their communities, providing meals for vulnerable residents and offering support for small businesses as well as hosting regional coronavirus testing centres.

The Impact Rankings are based on data that predate the pandemic, but as a recent analysis shows, some of the metrics are highly relevant in today’s post-Covid-19 world. The measures for SDG 3 (good health and well-being) are perhaps the most obvious examples, with metrics including institutions’ research on key diseases and conditions, the proportion of their health graduates, their outreach programmes related to health and their health services for students and staff.

But some of the metrics included in the other SDG tables, such as student food security, use of secure employee contracts and the promotion of remote working, provide a sense of how institutions may be performing in terms of responding to the social impact of the virus.

Universities have, of course, always been involved in research, education and outreach work that has a hugely beneficial impact locally and globally, but the myriad ways in which they contribute to society is perhaps more visible and better understood now than ever before. 

We are delighted that we can celebrate that in our 18 Impact Rankings tables – the overall ranking and the 17 tables demonstrating performance against each of the SDGs. As countries and their higher education sectors recover, it will be more vital than ever for societies to recognise the impact of universities. We hope that this exercise will ensure that the value of higher education remains at the forefront of people’s minds long after the pandemic has loosened its grip on the world.

ellie.bothwell@timeshighereducation.com


Countries/regions represented in the overall Impact Rankings 2020

Country/region    

Number of institutions

Top institution

Rank

Japan

63

Hokkaido University

76

Russian Federation

47

Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University

37

Turkey

37

Abdullah Gül University

101–200

United Kingdom

34

University of Manchester

8

Spain

32

University of Malaga

40

United States

31

Arizona State University (Tempe)

5

Brazil

30

University of São Paulo

=14

India

26

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

=57

Taiwan

24

National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)

38

Egypt

23

Alexandria University

101–200

 

 

Benha University

101–200

Pakistan

23

University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore

101–200

Australia

21

University of Sydney

2

Canada

19

University of British Columbia

7

Thailand

19

Chulalongkorn University

101–200

 

 

Khon Kaen University

101–200

 

 

King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi

101–200

Iraq

18

University of Babylon

401–600

 

 

University of Kufa

401–600

Iran

17

Iran University of Medical Sciences

=55

France

16

Aix-Marseille University

20

Mexico

16

National Autonomous University of Mexico

=62

South Korea

16

Yonsei University (Seoul campus)

=47

Chile

13

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

101–200

Malaysia

13

Universiti Sains Malaysia

65

Colombia

11

CES University

101–200

 

 

EAFIT University

101–200

Italy

10

University of Bologna

6

Portugal

10

University of Coimbra

=62

Ukraine

10

Sumy State University

201–300

China

9

Tongji University

13

Indonesia

9

University of Indonesia

=47

Republic of Ireland

9

Trinity College Dublin

=14

Finland

7

Aalto University

=47

New Zealand

7

University of Auckland

1

Romania

7

Bucharest University of Economic Studies

201–300

 

 

University of Bucharest

201–300

Ecuador

6

Salesian Polytechnic University

201–300

Hungary

6

University of Szeged

101–200

Peru

6

Pontifical Catholic University of Peru

201–300

Bangladesh

5

BRAC University

301–400

 

 

Daffodil International University (DIU)

301–400

Czech Republic

5

Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS)

201–300

Jordan

5

Al Ahliyya Amman University

301–400

Poland

5

University of Gdan´sk

301–400

Poland

5

University of Warsaw

301–400

Saudi Arabia

5

King Abdulaziz University

101–200

Tunisia

5

University of Tunis El Manar

301–400

Algeria

4

Université 8 Mai 1945 Guelma

401–600

 

 

University of Béjaïa

401–600

Latvia

4

Riga Technical University

101–200

Lebanon

4

American University of Beirut

201–300

 

 

Lebanese University

201–300

Netherlands

4

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

39

Nigeria

4

University of Ibadan

201–300

Philippines

4

University of Santo Tomas

301–400

Slovakia

4

Comenius University in Bratislava

201–300

South Africa

4

University of Johannesburg

75

Bahrain

3

University of Bahrain

201–300

Cyprus

3

Cyprus University of Technology

301–400

 

 

University of Nicosia

301–400

Ghana

3

Ashesi University

301–400

Greece

3

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

201–300

Hong Kong

3

University of Hong Kong

=41

Switzerland

3

University of Geneva

101–200

 

 

University of Lausanne

101–200

United Arab Emirates

3

University of Sharjah

301–400

Azerbaijan

2

Azerbaijan State University of Economics

601+

 

 

Khazar University

601+

Denmark

2

Aalborg University

=23

Germany

2

University of Hamburg

101–200

Iceland

2

University of Iceland

201–300

Kazakhstan

2

Almaty Management University (AlmaU)

301–400

Morocco

2

Ibn Tofaïl University

201–300

Palestine

2

Birzeit University

101–200

Sri Lanka

2

University of Peradeniya

301–400

Sweden

2

University of Gothenburg

=45

Vietnam

2

Hanoi University of Science and Technology

301–400

 

 

Ton Duc Thang University

301–400

Afghanistan

1

Kardan University

601+

Argentina

1

National University of Quilmes

601+

Austria

1

Modul University Vienna

401–600

Belgium

1

Université libre de Bruxelles

101–200

Bosnia and Herzegovina

1

International University of Sarajevo

601+

Bulgaria

1

Sofia University

401–600

Costa Rica

1

University of Costa Rica

201–300

Israel

1

University of Haifa

201–300

Jamaica

1

The University of the West Indies

401–600

Kenya

1

Kenyatta University

401–600

Kuwait

1

Kuwait University

401–600

Macao

1

Macau University of Science and Technology

401–600

Northern Cyprus

1

Eastern Mediterranean University

401–600

Norway

1

University of Bergen

=85

Puerto Rico

1

University of Puerto Rico

401–600

Qatar

1

Qatar University

201–300

Slovenia

1

University of Maribor

401–600

Uruguay

1

University of Montevideo

401–600

Uzbekistan

1

National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek

601+

Venezuela

1

Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB)

601+

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