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Project 5-100 Universities Contribute to the Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

April 21, 2021

The British Times Higher Education published the third edition of THE University Impact Rankings on April 21, 2021, which aims to analyze the impact of higher education on the development of society and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ranking takes into account the achievements of universities in reaching each of the 17 goals, and also forms an overall list of University Impact Rankings. The University Impact Rankings 2021 ranked over 1200 universities from 98 countries. In 2021 Russia became the leader both in terms of the number of participants (86) and in terms of growth dynamics: 33 more Russian universities are represented in the ranking than last year. 14 Russian universities are represented in the top 100 of THE University Impact Rankings, 6 of them are participants of Project 5-100.

The overall THE University Impact Rankings includes 75 Russian universities, including 13 universities of Project 5-100. Universities participating in Project 5-100 are represented in the top 100 rankings within seven SDGs: “quality education”, “decent work and economic growth”, “industrialization, innovation and infrastructure”, “peace, justice and effective institutions”, “elimination of hunger ”,“ fighting climate change ”,“ good health and well-being ”.

SDG “Quality Education”

The representation of Russian universities in the TNE ranking dedicated to achieving the goal of “quality education” has expanded from 47 universities to 77 over the past year. The number of universities in the top 100 has increased from four to five. The best result was obtained by Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University, a participant of Project 5-100, which moved up to 36th position. Five Russian universities are represented in the 101-200 rating range.

Marat Safiullin, Vice-Rector for Economic and Strategic Development of Kazan Federal University: “Back in 2015, a special UN session was held, at which the Sustainable Development Goals were selected, there are seventeen of them. In fact, these are the priorities on which the governments of the countries are recommended to focus their attention in order to maximize the involvement of the citizens of their countries in solving these problems. This rating is quite young. TNE's task was to see how universities contribute to the solution of these global challenges. The first rating was compiled in 2019. We tried all three years to participate in this event, because it is very important not only to promote what we are doing, but also to see how the areas that we have chosen for ourselves as basics correspond to global tasks and what contribution we make to the development of the region, the country and the world. The total score of KFU increased by almost 10 percent in terms of the number of entries in the top 100 in a number of areas. The growing competition is witnessed by the increase in the number of participants. So, in 2021, 1115 universities of the world were ranked, which is 347 universities more than a year earlier (768 universities) ".

Decent work and economic growth SDGs

The number of Russian universities in the ranking for achieving the Decent Work and Economic Growth goal has increased from 35 to 57 compared to last year. Three out of four domestic universities in the top 100 of the ranking represent Project 5-100: RUDN University (76th position), SPbPU (88th position), KFU (97th position). The 101-200 rating range includes three universities participating in Project 5-100: IKBFU named after I. Kant, ITMO University, ETU "LETI".

SDG “Industrialization, Innovation and Infrastructure”

Representation of Russian universities in the THE University Impact Rankings for achieving the SDG “Industrialization, Innovation and Infrastructure” has almost doubled in comparison with 2020, from 34 to 60. The top 100 includes three Russian universities, two of them are Project 5-100 participants: ITMO University (75th position) and Tomsk Polytechnic University (96th position). Six Russian universities rank in the 101-200 rating range.

SDG “Peace, Justice and Effective Institutions”

The number of Russian universities in the ranking of achieving the UN sustainable development goal “Peace, Justice and Effective Institutions” has increased from 30 to 49 over the past year. For the first time, five Russian universities are included in the top 100 of this ranking including the participants of Project 5-100: RUDN University (51st position) and KFU (75th position). Five more Russian scientific and educational centers are located in the 101-200 rating range of this rating.

SDG “Hunger Elimination”

The THE University Impact Rankings, aimed at assessing the contribution of universities to solving the problem of “Hunger Elimination”, ranked 27 Russian universities. This is 11 more than in 2020. In the top 100 of the indicated rating, SPbPU is presented at the 96th position. RUDN entered the second hundred best universities.

SDG Fight Against Climate Change”

The rating for achieving the goal “Fight against climate change” includes 30 Russian universities, including two in the top 100. In the second place among Russian universities is SPbPU at the 45th position. In the rating range 101-200 of this rating, the participant of Project 5-100 - National Research Nuclear University MEPhI is represented.

SDG Good Health and Well-Being

The highest position out of 56 Russian universities included in the rating is held by the First Moscow State Medical University named after I.M. Sechenov of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation (Sechenov University), which took 27th place.

The managers of the ranking note a significant increase in Russian universities in comparison with participants from other regions. Phil Batey, Editor-in-Chief of THE, commented: “This year's rankings show that organizations around the world are united in their desire for sustainable development, with only the top 100 representing 24 countries and regions and 6 continents. Russian universities have achieved a number of top 100 results in the SDG tables, in particular, in the goal of “quality education”, where two universities are in the top ten” .

Ranking methodology

The methodology of THE University Impact Rankings is based on the analysis of three areas of university activity:

research - knowledge creation to solve the most pressing global problems;

socially oriented programs - the direct activity of the university in society;

governance - resource management, the university's contribution to education in a broad sense.

This uses three categories of indicators:

1. Research: source - Elsevier, for each SDG are analyzed only publications relevant to its achievement; publication period to be analyzed - 2015-2019; exception - the indicator based on patents used in ranking universities under SDG. The publication date of the patent is taken into account, not the scientific articles to which it refers ; analysis is active The number of universities within each SDG is based on at least two indicators.

2. “Continuous” indicators - numeral indicators that vary over a wide range (for example, the number of university graduates in health care): usually take into account the size of the university (normalized).

3. Indicators requiring confirmation are qualitative indicators. These are initiatives, practices, activities of universities in various areas, which require confirmation and are assessed according to a set of certain criteria: as a rule, they do not take into account the size of the university (they are not standardized). The indicators are cross-checked, and demonstration of positive practice in the respective universities is sufficient for confirmation.

A set of relevant indicators is used to assess the university's contribution to each SDG.