Griffith University has ranked the highest of any Australian university in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022 for its performance against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

The rankings measure the societal impact of some 1500 universities around the world based on the UN’s SDG’s. Griffith was ranked 92nd globally overall for SDG 16, and ranked as number one in Queensland for progress against SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities.

“At Griffith, we recognise the critical role that universities play in achieving the United Nations’ 17 SDGs,” says Griffith Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Lee Smith.

“We’re led by our values. Both our teaching and research prioritise innovation and social impact to reflect our belief that everyone deserves a chance to make a difference–for themselves and others.”

“A top 100 result for Griffith University is an exceptional outcome considering the additional number of universities ranked this year.”

A number of new initiatives undertaken by the university saw it place highly in the rankings for SDG 16. These include the University’s Academic Freedom and Freedom and Speech Policy, which took effect in February 2021. The institution’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy also helped to strengthen Griffith’s output, which provides to all levels of government. The number of graduates from law and enforcement related courses, which grew 14 percent in the past year, was also another key metric towards SDG 16.

This year, Griffith made submissions for seven of the UN SDGs, up from four in 2021. 2022 marks just the fourth year of the THE Impact rankings. Griffith Centre for Sustainable Enterprise Director Rob Hales says Griffith’s performance in the rankings is remarkable given the youth of the rankings metric.

“A consistent result in the top 10 percent of rankings over time is a very good measure of the sustainability commitment of a university,” he says.

“Over time the ranking methodology for SDGs will likely mature and everything Griffith is doing in relation to these important global indicators should be accurately reflected in future results.

“The THE Impact Rankings contribute towards raising awareness and ensuring accountability for continuous improvement in relation to the UN SDGs and Griffith is a committed partner in these efforts.”

Griffith University is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and has signed up to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network—Universities Commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs were created by the UN in 2015 in a bid to help end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

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