University of Auckland takes the top spot in University Impact Rankings 2019

Explore which universities performed well in Times Higher Education's pioneering new ranking 

Seeta Bhardwa's avatar

Seeta Bhardwa

Student content editor
April 3 2019
University Impact Rankings 2019


New Zealand's University of Auckland has taken the first place position in the first ever Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings.

The University Impact Rankings were created to measure how universities are contributing to solve some of the biggest global challenges including gender inequality, climate action, education inequality and poverty. 

Universities were invited to submit data on how they were working to achieve the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals. These are a set of goals created by the UN in 2015 to solve some of the biggest issues facing the world today, by 2030.The goals focus on a number of issues including improving gender equality, tackling poverty, providing better healthcare, providing quality education for all and encouraging economic growth. 

Top universities in the world for global impact
Top universities for tackling gender equality
Top universities for climate action

Eleven of the 17 goals were included in the ranking. There was one overall ranking, plus a ranking for each of the SDGs included in order to shine a light on the areas that certain universities were performing the best in. 

The University of Auckland was first in the overall ranking and also scored highly for good health and well-being, gender equality, peace, justice and strong institutions; and partnerships for the goals.

Two Canadian Institutions - McMaster University and the University of British Columbia - take the second and joint third spots respectively. The University of Manchester is the highest ranked UK institution also at number three and King's College London rounds off the top five. The overall ranking includes 462 universities from 76 nations.

University Impact 2019 rank Institution Country/region
1 University of Auckland New Zealand
2 McMaster University Canada
=3 University of British Columbia Canada
=3 University of Manchester United Kingdom
5 King’s College London United Kingdom
6 University of Gothenburg Sweden
=7  KTH Royal Institute of Technology Sweden
=7 University of Montreal Canada
9 University of Bologna Italy
10 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong

This pioneering ranking moves away from focusing on research and teaching, as traditional rankings have done, and looks at how institutions are making a social impact. 

Read more: Required Reading: what do the University Impact Rankings mean for students?

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