First-generation students and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are still poorly represented in higher education. But universities are now working hard to rectify this and the Impact Rankings 2022 are an indicator of which institutions are doing this successfully.
To put together this ranking we mapped how universities around the world are committing to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are a global call to action to tackle poverty, climate change and inequality.
The SDGs look to tackle some of today’s biggest global issues and SDG 10 in particular covers reducing inequalities.
Some of the metrics that helped measure which universities were excelling at reducing inequalities were the number of first-generation students, the number of students from developing countries, the proportion of students and staff with disabilities, measures against discrimination and the amount of research a university undertakes on reduced inequalities. More information on the methodology can be found here.
These are the top five universities for reducing inequality:
This year the University of Canberra retains its first place for SDG 10 from last year.
The university was an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for 12 years, until its last submission in 2019. It also received the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award as part of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) programme in 2020.
The university conducts research into social inequalities and discrimination. It is also committed to recruiting staff and students from under-represented groups.
King Abdulaziz University is a public university in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
It was established in 1967 as a private university but became a public university in 1974.
Like the majority of public universities in Saudi Arabia, all students receive free education, housing and a stipend.
RMIT University is committed to working across all the SDGs, and SDG 10 is no exception.
RMIT is conducting a number of research projects that explore inequalities in all aspects of society in Australia and beyond. One such project focuses on the liveability of Australian cities through analysing the public transport systems, public open spaces, housing affordability, walkability, employment and food and alcohol environments.
The disability service at Western Sydney University is made up of a team of professional disability advisers and trained educational support staff. The service provides pre-admission advice, academic support and advocacy on disability-related issues.
There is also a wide range of support for international students. There are guides providing practical advice on living and studying in Australia, as well as important information about mental health and loneliness.
There is also a specific support centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
London South Bank University conducts research and works on community projects throughout London. One such project includes a study on street gangs.
The university offers a range of student services, including disability services, mental health and well-being support and financial advice.
The top 100 universities for reducing inequality
Editors note: As part of our THE statement on Ukraine published on 2 March 2022, Russian universities have been given less prominence in our rankings. Russian and Belarusian universities that met the criteria for this ranking are not displayed in the table above.