Top universities for promoting quality education in 2024

University Impact Rankings for UN SDG 4: Quality Education

Times Higher Education has rigorously evaluated 1,681 universities from 122 countries/regions to rank those making a significant contribution toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4: quality education. These top institutions are recognised for their commitment to advancing the right to education and ensuring access to education at all levels, from childhood development through secondary education and beyond. By focusing on sustainable education practices, they equip students with relevant skills and foster effective learning outcomes that are essential for the future workforce.

The top universities excel in offering equitable quality education, promoting vocational training and providing lifelong learning opportunities. Their innovative approaches ensure that education is not only accessible but adaptable to the evolving needs of society, thereby supporting sustainable development and reducing inequalities within and among countries.

Summary of findings

The ranking for SDG 4: quality education is led by Aalborg University in Denmark. The top 10 is largely dominated by Asia, with two institutions from Hong Kong, two from Turkey, two from Pakistan, one from India and one from Bahrain.

Pakistan has the highest number of universities in the table at 86.


Our methodology for SDG 4: quality education incorporates a comprehensive set of indicators to assess universities' contributions to education and learning across multiple dimensions:

Research on early years and lifelong learning education (27%)

  • Number of studies on effective learning strategies and educational methodologies
  • Proportion of education-related papers that are viewed or downloaded
  • Proportion of education-related research in top journals

Proportion of graduates with a teaching qualification (15.4%)

  • Proportion of graduates qualified to teach, reflecting the university's commitment to producing capable educators

Lifelong learning measures (26.8%)

  • Provision of vocational training and career-oriented programmes
  • Facilities and programmes for adult education and lifelong learning opportunities

Proportion of first-generation students (30.8%)

  • Proportion of students who identify as being the first person in their immediate family to attend university, demonstrating the university’s commitment to education for disadvantaged groups and ensuring no group is left behind

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

Register to participate in next year’s Impact Rankings

To raise your university’s global profile with Times Higher Education, contact

To unlock the data behind THE’s Impact Rankings and access a range of analytical and benchmarking tools, click here 

How to get your uni ranked

Explore Impact Rankings for individual SDGs

rank order Rank Name Quality education Node ID