THE’s Innovation and Impact Summit goes online

Participants in virtual mini-summit will get an exclusive look at the University Impact Rankings 2020 and can join in discussion with our data scientists

April 8, 2020
School of sardines swimming in ocean
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The biggest-ever dataset on the impact made by universities worldwide, as measured against the yardstick of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, will be launched on 22 April as the highlight of an online mini-summit, Times Higher Education has announced.

As work to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 dominates the international scientific community, the need for research universities and their ability to support the response to global development challenges is more acute than ever.

More than 850 institutions from 89 countries and regions contributed to the THE Impact Rankings, which assess institutions’ performance last year across all 17 UN SDGs. This represents significant growth in the scale and breadth of the dataset, which was first published in 2019.

Phil Baty, THE’s chief knowledge officer, said: “The THE Impact Rankings redefine what excellence in global higher education actually looks like, and they paint a much richer, a much more diverse, and a much more inclusive picture of global excellence than the one we have traditionally come to recognise through traditional university rankings.”

The mini-summit on 22 April will begin at 09:00 (BST) with an open debate examining the value of the UN SDGs as a framework for assessing national and regional innovation. From 10.30, a data masterclass led by THE’s chief data officer, Duncan Ross, featuring expert analysis from leaders of Elsevier and the consultancy Vertigo Ventures, will reveal the insights and trends from the new data, concluding with the publication of the dataset at 12.00.

“What our Impact Rankings show, more than anything, is the incredible commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals that is shared by universities across the world, and how in different ways they are focusing their efforts to these global objectives in very local contexts,” Mr Ross said.

“We see universities in India delivering on ‘SDG 6 – Clean water’; universities from Japan and Korea leading on ‘SDG 9 – Industry and innovation’; and above all, in these times, universities across the world working together on ‘SDG 3 – Good health and well-being’,” Mr Ross explained.

The masterclass will be followed by a live, worldwide Q&A session during which participants will be able to interrogate the data and question THE’s data scientists about the methodology and meaning of the results. THE will also host discussions exploring how universities can best utilise this new demonstration of their impact to support their individual and collective efforts in developing their reputations, their research capacity, and their fundraising and recruitment efforts.

“Please join us on 22 April for this essential global dialogue with leading researchers and policymakers on the power of transformative impact,” Mr Baty concluded. “We hope that you share your own institutional strategies in engaging with the SDGs and their degrees of success on a platform that can highlight perhaps lesser-known yet powerful examples of impact that have the ability to radically reinvent our criteria for strong university performance.”

Leah.Reitman@timeshighereducation.com

Find more information about the THE Impact and Innovation Virtual Summit, and how to register.

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