Top universities for tackling gender equality

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

April 3 2019
Top universities for gender equality

Gender equality is one of the key challenges facing society today. Across the world it manifests in many ways including in pay, employment opportunities and access to education.

The United Nations Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) look to tackle some of today’s biggest global issues and SDG 5 aims to tackle the issue of gender equality. 

As part of the University Impact Rankings, Times Higher Education has produced a ranking focusing on how universities are contributing to gender equality. Some of the measures that are looked at as part of the ranking are research on gender, policies on gender equality, their commitment to recruiting and promoting women, the proportion of first-generation female students and student access measures. You can read more about the methodology here

Top five universities for gender equality

1. Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University was awarded an employer of choice for gender equality by the Federal Government's Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The institution has held this title for the past 14 years. 

The university is also dedicated to combating sexual violence on campus through the development of a respectful relationships education programme to be implemented across the Australian university sector. 

A Gender Equality Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2020 has been implemented to focus on the areas where gender equality can be improved. One of the key aims for the plan is to support the university’s efforts in recruiting, retaining and helping female staff advance. Other measures that have been introduced in response to the plan are improved breastfeeding facilities on campus, additional leave for staff experiencing domestic violence, and the development of a Gender Equality Policy. 

2. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The wo/men network at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam aims to improve the position of women in the university. The network aims to promote diversity and equal opportunities and tackle gender biases within the organisation.

Women at the university organise events and mentoring programmes to promote gender equality discussions. 


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3. University of Gothenburg

Gender equality at the University of Gothenburg is part of the remit of two organisations within the university. The first is the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research. The centre is a resource for researchers at the university, providing opportunities for collaboration, forums and dialogue in connection with gender-related research.

The second is the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research, which focuses on gender research and gender equality. 

=4. University of Bologna

The University of Bologna has developed a Gender Equality Plan to promote the careers of women and prevent the loss of talent through women dropping out of their jobs. 

As a commitment to SDG 5, the university plans to publish gender data annually, and establish a help desk for those students with LGBTQ+ concerns. 

The university also aims to launch projects together with the Civilian Police and the Women’s Refuge alongside various voluntary associations to ensure that students across the university are aware of gender violence. 

=4. University of Worcester

The University of Worcester’s 2017 gender pay gap report stated that the institution’s gender pay gap was 3.16 per cent, which was far smaller than the UK’s national average of 17.4 per cent. 

The report also stated that 65 per cent of employees were women and that women are represented across all levels of seniority. 


Top universities for gender equality 2019: Top 100

Gender Equality Rank 2019 University Country/region
1 Western Sydney University Australia
2 Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Netherlands
3 University of Gothenburg Sweden
=4 University of Bologna Italy
=4 University of Worcester United Kingdom
=6 University of Auckland New Zealand
=6 Edith Cowan University Australia
8 Pompeu Fabra University Spain
9 Auckland University of Technology New Zealand
10 King’s College London United Kingdom
11 Autonomous University of Barcelona Spain
12 Glasgow Caledonian University United Kingdom
=13 University of Padua Italy
=13 University of Sydney Australia
15 University of Montreal Canada
16 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill United States
17 Queensland University of Technology Australia
18 Macquarie University Australia
19 Wayne State University United States
20 Wheaton College United States
21 Massey University New Zealand
22 University of Rovira i Virgili Spain
23 Texas State University United States
24 University of Wollongong Australia
25 University of Hamburg Germany
26 Simón Bolívar University (Colombia) Colombia
27 Bangor University United Kingdom
28 University of the Western Cape South Africa
29 University of Western Australia Australia
30 American University United States
=31 Arizona State University United States
=31 University of Dundee United Kingdom
=31 Universitat de Girona Spain
=31 University of Helsinki Finland
=31 University of Newcastle Australia
36 York University Canada
37 Aix-Marseille University France
38 Bucharest University of Economic Studies Romania
39 James Cook University Australia
40 University of Manchester United Kingdom
=41 University of Amsterdam Netherlands
=41 University of Queensland Australia
43 University of Johannesburg South Africa
44 Stony Brook University United States
45 Aalborg University Denmark
46 Koç University Turkey
=47 Metropolitan Autonomous University Mexico
=47 UNSW Sydney Australia
49 University of Aberdeen United Kingdom
50 Autonomous University of Hidalgo State (UAEH) Mexico
51 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile
=52 Autonomous University of Madrid Spain
=52 Hacettepe University Turkey
54 King Abdulaziz University Saudi Arabia
=55 Australian Catholic University Australia
=55 De Montfort University United Kingdom
57 University of Malaga Spain
58 Technical University of Loja Ecuador
=59 University of Maryland, Baltimore County United States
=59 Solent University United Kingdom
61 Boğaziçi University Turkey
62 Reykjavík University Iceland
63 University of Toronto Canada
=64 Hofstra University United States
=64 University of North Florida United States
66 Colorado State University United States
67 Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil
=68 McMaster University Canada
=68 Oregon State University United States
=70 Universitas Gadjah Mada Indonesia
=70 SOAS University London United Kingdom
72 University of Iceland Iceland
73 University of Southern California United States
74 Kyung Hee University South Korea
75 Universiti Sains Malaysia Malaysia
76 Ankara University Turkey
77 University of Southern Denmark Denmark
78 University of Murcia Spain
79 Tzu Chi University Taiwan
80 Durham University United Kingdom
81 University of Limerick Republic of Ireland
=82 Alzahra University Iran
=82 University of Bahrain Bahrain
84 Laval University Canada
85 University of Greenwich United Kingdom
86 Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education Mexico
=87 University of Bergen Norway
=87 Suffolk University United States
=87 University of Winchester United Kingdom
90 Daffodil International University (DIU) Bangladesh
91 University College Dublin Republic of Ireland
92 Perm State University Russian Federation
=92 University of Valencia Spain
=93 Kadir Has University Turkey
=93 University of Valparaíso Chile
=95 University of Antofagasta Chile
=95 Drexel University United States
=95 University of Ibadan Nigeria
=95 Özyeğin University Turkey
=99 Altai State University Russian Federation
=99 University of Waterloo Canada

View the full ranking for gender equality here 


Editor’s note: This table was amended on 12 April 2019 to reflect changes in the positions of some institutions.

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