Top universities for addressing poverty in 2024

University Impact Rankings for UN SDG 1: No Poverty

Times Higher Education surveyed and reviewed 1,093 universities from 107 countries/regions to curate a list of the top universities for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 1: no poverty, each actively engaged in developing poverty solutions through rigorous poverty research and innovative educational programmes. These institutions stand out for their strategic approaches to helping students in poverty, from offering extensive financial aid to implementing supportive learning environments.

By prioritising poverty alleviation and addressing issues such as homelessness within academic and community settings, these universities not only enhance the educational impact for students but also provide a transformative platform for educators dedicated to making a substantial difference in combating global poverty.

Summary of findings

The ranking for SDG 1: no poverty is led by Indonesia’s Universitas Airlangga. Canada’s York University and South Africa’s University of Johannesburg take the second and third spots.

The top newcomer is South Africa’s University of Pretoria in eighth place.

Turkey is the most-represented country for SDG 1: no poverty, with 53 institutions. The UK is home to the highest number of places (17) in the top 100.


Our methodology for SDG 1: no poverty includes detailed indicators to evaluate universities’ efforts in alleviating poverty and supporting poor students and citizens in the local community:

Research on poverty (27%)

  • Co-authored papers with low- or lower-middle-income countries
  • Field-weighted citation impact of publications on poverty
  • Total publications focused on poverty

Financial aid for poverty-affected students (27%)

  • Proportion of students receiving significant financial aid because of poverty

University anti-poverty programmes (23%)

  • Admission and success targets for students from the bottom financial quintile
  • Support programmes for low-income students and students from lower-middle income countries

Community anti-poverty programmes (23%)

  • Support for local sustainable business startups
  • Training and policymaking to alleviate poverty
  • Programmes designed to improve access to basic services

The Impact Rankings are inherently dynamic: they are growing rapidly each year as many more universities seek to demonstrate their commitment to delivering the SDGs by joining our database; and they allow institutions to demonstrate rapid improvement year-on-year, by introducing clear new policies, for example, or by providing clearer and more open evidence of their progress. Therefore, we expect and welcome regular change in the ranked order of institutions (and we discourage year-on-year comparisons) as universities continue to drive this urgent agenda.

View the overall Impact Rankings 2024

Read our analysis of the Impact Rankings 2024 results

Download a free copy of the Impact Rankings 2024 digital report

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How to get your uni ranked

Explore Impact Rankings for individual SDGs