UT Impact Rankings Demonstrate Strengths around UN Sustainable Development Goals

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has demonstrated strengths in several core areas based on rankings released by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for 2021. These rankings measure universities’ engagement across research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

In the US, UT placed in the top five on SDG 15: Life on Land, which measures activities addressing protection, restoration, and promotion of sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. UT ranked in the top 10 in the US in addressing SDG 1: No Poverty, ending poverty in all its forms everywhere. UT also had strong performances with SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals, which examines broad engagement with the SDGs. Globally, more than 1,100 universities from 94 countries participated in the rankings in 2021.

The rankings establish a unifying framework and benchmarks for the work of the world’s academic communities in light of the SDGs, which address pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges facing the world today. The 17 SDGs are no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace, justice, and strong institutions; and partnerships.

“The importance of UT’s impact ranking is the institutional commitment made to contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals as well as producing new knowledge and innovation to address global challenges,” said Gretchen Neisler, vice provost for international affairs and director of UT’s Center for Global Engagement. “It is critically important for our students to engage in this work to better understand the world we live in and the need to solve challenges together.”

Beyond the rankings, the Center for Global Engagement has collected information on the courses offered at UT that speak to one or more SDGs, identifying more than 225 courses in 37 departments. A website helps students identify SDG courses of interest grouped by goal or by department.

UT signed on to the Declaration on University Global Engagement, a joint effort of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, in 2018.

The university’s inclusion in the impact rankings is the result of a collaboration between the Center for Global Development and the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

Source: University of Tennessee, by Rachel Rui

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org

Published April 30, 2021