Griffith ranks highly in sustainable development

Griffith University has received a stellar commendation for its efforts in sustainable development, ranking 38th from 1115 institutions globally in the 2021 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

The University was the only Brisbane or Gold Coast institution to rate in the top 40.

The Times Higher Education (THE) rankings are a recognised measure of how universities are performing against the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

Universities are required to make submissions in at least four individual SDGs to be eligible for a THE Impact ranking and Griffith’s best individual result came in SDG 17, where it ranked 5th globally, making it the only Queensland university to score in the top 40 in that particular SDG.

Sustainability Development Goals Ranking
SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being 15th
SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities 76th
SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 12th
SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals 5th
Professor Carolyn Evans

Griffith Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Carolyn Evans said she was delighted to see Griffith in the top 40 in the world in Impact rankings.

“These rankings speak so much to Griffith’s core mission,” Professor Evans said.

“We are a values-led University, one that wants to have a real impact in local and Australian community, but also more broadly in the global community.”

“Increasingly I see students wanting to come to a university that shares their values.

“At Griffith we help prepare them for a complex world, confident to face the future and a world where they can make a difference.”

Griffith’s performance against SDG 17 was bolstered by strong and impactful partnership examples. University centres providing research, analysis and consultation on sustainability issues impacting government policy and decision making include the Policy Innovation Hub and the Centre for Governance & Public Policy.

Professor A J Brown

Professor AJ Brown, a leading national voice in public integrity and anti-corruption, said evidence of Griffith’s performance against SDG 16 included foundation membership of the prestigious Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and its Graduate Certificate in Policy Analysis, which was co-designed with and sponsored by the Queensland Government.

“Griffith is leading strategy work on fighting corruption all around the world, which is really about building those strong institutions so that corruption can be stopped, accountability can be gained and institutions function with integrity to serve their communities,” Professor Brown said.

Griffith University policy and strategy for persons with disabilities was key to its recognition against SDG 10 in the Impact rankings.

The University’s ‘Students with Disabilities’ policy (2018) and the Disability Action Plan (2018-2020) reinforces a contemporary model of disability support addressing barriers that exclude people with disabilities.

Dr Dinesh Palipana

Dr Dinesh Palipana, Griffith Health alumnus, Biospine project co-lead, Medical School lecturer and a disability advocate named 2021 Queensland Australian of the Year, said Griffith leads by example.

“Griffith University took a journey with me as a medical student with quadriplegia,” he said.

“By doing so, we broke some uncharted ground together and realised this is an institution with a unique soul. Its global recognition is not surprising.

“I am also privileged to be a part of research that may change the very history of humanity.”

Collaborations that improve health and well-being outcomes support Griffith’s excellent performance against SDG 3.

Among several key collaborations in good health and well-being of which Griffith is at the forefront, is the establishment of The Hopkins Centre, a local collaboration between Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, and the Division of Rehabilitation, Metro South Hospital & Health Services, Queensland, which is committed to solving challenges arising from disability and improving rehabilitation process outcomes.

Professor Evans said Griffith had always been the university to make a difference.

“It’s wonderful to see, as things shift around us, that we’re well prepared to meet those challenges,” she said.

“We have a deep and long-term commitment that existed before rankings.”

1115 universities from 96 countries took part in this year’s rankings, up from 768 in 2020.