press release
Published: 21 April 2021

Surrey improves its THE University Impact Rankings score

The University of Surrey has ranked 61st in this year's Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings, a global ranking of universities based on their contributions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

With an additional 347 institutions taking part in this year's THE rankings – bringing the total of participating universities to 1115 – Surrey improved its overall score.

The ranking looks at how universities' research, innovation and operations contribute towards UN SDGs; examples include efforts to reduce carbon footprint, partnerships with local, national and international bodies and outreach work.

This year Surrey provided evidence to show it was contributing to 13 of the 17 SDGs, an increase on the eight submitted in the 2020 rankings.

The highlight of this year's rankings includes Surrey’s being ranked fourth in SDG8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth. The UN describe the aim of SDG8 as to "promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all."

Other highlights include:

  • 36th for SDG7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 37th for SDG10 – Reduced Inequality
  • 58th for SDG13 – Climate Action
  • 68th for SDG17 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Surrey, said: “At the University of Surrey, we strive to make a difference in terms of a sustainable society and planet, harnessing the power of technologies, research, education and behavioural change. I am delighted that our efforts are being recognised in these rankings. I thank all our students and staff who have been working hard towards the UN SDGs, even during a tough year of a global pandemic. I am optimistic about the future as we are all aligned on our mission to contribute more to our community and global society beyond.”

Professor David Sampson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation at the University of Surrey, said: "We are very proud of our results in this year's THE University Impact Rankings, and we know we can improve them further in the years to come. Whether it is through our overall contribution to the UK economy totalling nearly £2bn and 19,430 jobs or our myriad collaborations, such as world-leading air-quality research through our Global Centre for Clean Air Research, we will continue to make a difference and strive for a better and healthier planet."

Professor Graham Miller, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, said:  "The University is committed to shaping a fairer, healthier and more sustainable world. These results rank us amongst the very best in the world in terms of our impact against achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is a wonderful achievement and something everyone should be proud of."

Click here to read more about the THE Impact Rankings 2021.