More than 1,000 universities submit data for impact ranking

Russia leads on number of submissions but institutions across a record 98 territories take part

February 24, 2021
Times Higher Education Impact Rankings logo

More than 1,200 institutions from across the world have submitted data to Times Higher Education to participate in the third edition of the Impact Rankings.

The rankings, which are open to any university that teaches at either undergraduate or postgraduate level, are the first to measure global universities’ success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In total, 1,240 institutions from 98 countries/regions have submitted data for the 2021 rankings, which includes 18 tables – one for each of the 17 SDGs as well as one overall ranking. Last year’s edition featured 859 institutions from 89 territories, while the inaugural table in 2019 (which included metrics against just 11 of the 17 goals) received submissions from some 500 universities.

The expanding participation rate reflects the growing importance of the SDGs within higher education institutions.

Russia has overtaken Japan as the country that has been most engaged with the upcoming ranking – 86 Russian institutions have provided data. However, Japan is close behind, with 85 submissions, followed by India with 57, Turkey with 54 and the UK and the US with 52 each.

Excluding SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), the only goal that universities must provide data on to be included in the overall ranking, SDG 4 (quality education), received the most submissions, with 966 institutions volunteering information on metrics including their lifelong learning measures and their proportion of first-generation students.

This was followed by SDG 3 (good health and well-being), which received submissions from 871 universities in a year when the world was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic. The metrics for this SDG include universities’ research on key diseases and conditions, their support for healthcare professions and their support for the health of students and staff.


The Impact Rankings 2021 will be launched at the virtual THE Innovation & Impact Summit on 21 April. Register to attend.

View the methodology for the Impact Rankings 2021 (bit.ly/impact2021-methodology).

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about our Impact Rankings, but if you have any other queries, email impact@timeshighereducation.com.

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