Top universities promoting societal peace and justice in 2024

University Impact Rankings for UN SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Times Higher Education has ranked 1,086 universities from 113 countries/regions for their contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 16: peace, justice and strong institutions. The top universities excel in promoting inclusive societies, enhancing access to justice and fostering transparent institutions. Through rigorous research, governance measures and collaborations with government entities, they address various forms of violence, advocate for non-discrimination, and contribute to strengthening national and international legislation.

These leading universities are pivotal in shaping resilient societies equipped with robust legal and civil enforcement frameworks. Their commitment extends to fostering international cooperation and enhancing public services, thereby playing a crucial role in developing fair and just systems that support sustainable peace and good governance.

Summary of findings

The ranking for SDG 16: peace, justice and strong institutions is led by Universiti Sains Malaysia, followed by Western University in Canada.

IE University in Spain is the highest-ranked newcomer, at 34th place.

The UK has the most institutions (20) in the top 100. Australia and Canada both have nine.


Our methodology for SDG 16: peace, justice and strong institutions includes detailed indicators that measure universities’ effectiveness in promoting peaceful and inclusive societies:

Research on peace and justice (27%)

  • Number of research publications focusing on criminal justice, legal identity, access to justice, understanding and mitigating forms of violence and promoting non-discrimination
  • Proportion of peace and justice related research in top journals
  • Field-weighted citation impact of peace and justice related research

University governance measures (26.6%)

  • Initiatives to ensure transparency and accountability in university operations
  • Policies and procedures that uphold ethical governance and prevent corruption, including engagement with local stakeholders

Working with government (23.2%)

  • Collaborations with government bodies to influence policymaking and enhance public service delivery
  • Participation in drafting national legislation and frameworks that promote peace and justice

Proportion of graduates in law and civil enforcement (23.2%)

  • Proportion of graduates qualified to enter professions in law, civil enforcement and related fields

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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Explore Impact Rankings for individual SDGs

rank order Rank Name Peace, justice and strong institutions Node ID