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Best universities for reducing inequalities

Explore the top 100 universities for reducing inequalities based on data collected for the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings

July 11 2022
Best universities for reducing inequality


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:

1. University of Canberra

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.

2. King Abdulaziz University

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.

3. RMIT University

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.

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4. Western Sydney University

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. 

5. London South Bank University

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

Reducing inequality rank 2022 University Country/region
1 University of Canberra Australia
2 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
3 RMIT University Australia
4 Western Sydney University Australia
5 London South Bank University United Kingdom
=6 University of British Columbia Canada
=6 University of Huddersfield United Kingdom
=8 Dublin City University Ireland
=8 KIIT University India
10 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
11 University of Auckland New Zealand
12 Brunel University London United Kingdom
13 University of Exeter United Kingdom
14 McMaster University Canada
15 University of Bologna Italy
16 University of Leicester United Kingdom
17 Ahlia University Bahrain
18 King’s College London United Kingdom
19 University of Greenwich United Kingdom
20 University of Valencia Spain
21 Glasgow Caledonian University United Kingdom
22 Bangor University United Kingdom
23 University of the West of Scotland United Kingdom
=24 University of Essex United Kingdom
=24 University of Northampton United Kingdom
26 UCL United Kingdom
27 Arizona State University (Tempe) United States
28 Montpellier University France
=29 IE University Spain
=29 University of Westminster United Kingdom
=31 Aalborg University Denmark
=31 University of Reading United Kingdom
33 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
34 National Taiwan University (NTU) Taiwan
35 University of Hull United Kingdom
=36 Monash University Australia
=36 Newcastle University United Kingdom
38 University of Wollongong Australia
39 York University Canada
40 University of Liverpool United Kingdom
=41 Queen’s University Belfast United Kingdom
=41 University of Southern Denmark Denmark
43 Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis United States
45 Politecnico di Milano Italy
46 University of Toronto Canada
47 University of Bari Aldo Moro Italy
48 Concordia University Canada
=49 University of Johannesburg South Africa
=49 La Trobe University Australia
=49 University of Tasmania Australia
52 University of South Australia Australia
53 Iran University of Medical Sciences Iran
54 Qatar University Qatar
55 Trinity College Dublin Ireland
56 SUNY University at Albany United States
57 University of Glasgow United Kingdom
58 National University of Ireland, Galway Ireland
=59 Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University Saudi Arabia
=59 University of Surrey United Kingdom
=59 University of Waikato New Zealand
62 University of Strathclyde United Kingdom
=63 Auckland University of Technology New Zealand
=63 Queensland University of Technology Australia
=65 University of Maryland, Baltimore County United States
=65 Old Dominion University United States
67 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University United States
=68 Asian Institute of Technology Thailand
=68 University of East London United Kingdom
70 Murdoch University Australia
71 University of Otago New Zealand
=72 City, University of London United Kingdom
=72 University of Ottawa Canada
=72 Taipei Medical University Taiwan
75 University of Sussex United Kingdom
=76 Lakehead University Canada
=76 University of New Brunswick UNB Canada
=76 University of Victoria Canada
=76 University of Waterloo Canada
=76 University of the West of England United Kingdom
81 National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Greece
=82 Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
=82 Rovira i Virgili University Spain
84 Cairo University Egypt
85 ESIC Spain
86 Federation University Australia Australia
=87 Cardiff University United Kingdom
=87 Macquarie University Australia
=89 University of Aberdeen United Kingdom
=89 University of Alberta Canada
=89 University of Bordeaux France
92 Kyung Hee University South Korea
=93 Sapienza University of Rome Italy
=93 Sheffield Hallam University United Kingdom
=95 University of Haifa Israel
=95 Nanhua University Taiwan
97 University of Technology Sydney Australia
98 University of the Witwatersrand South Africa
99 Griffith University Australia
=100 SOAS University of London United Kingdom

View the full ranking for reducing inequalities here 

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.



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