The University of Aberdeen has continued to build on its strong performance in the QS World University Sustainability rankings, rising 27 places in the 2024 league table to an overall position of joint 37th in the world, and two places to 15th in the UK.

The ranking from Quacquarelli Symonds, a leading global provider of comparative data on higher education providers, includes 1,400 institutions across 95 countries and aims to showcase what universities are doing to tackle the world’s most pressing global challenges.

It is based on three main categories: Environmental Impact, Social Impact and Governance, which are made up of separate indicators mapped to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The University ranked in or around the top 50 globally across all key categories, including being ranked 47th in the world for Environmental Impact and 51st for Social Impact. The latter is a significant rise from its 182nd position last year when only 700 institutions were included in the table.

The University has performed very strongly across a number of measures, including being ranked 4th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland for Environmental Education, and 61st in the world for Environmental Research. In terms of social impact, Aberdeen placed 32nd in the world for Equality, 34th for Knowledge Exchange and 36th for Health & Wellbeing.

In Governance, a new category introduced this year to evaluate performance in areas including ethics, good hiring practices and open decision-making, the University has been ranked 49th globally.

The announcement comes just after the University won the 2023 UK & Ireland Green Gown Research with Impact award for the second year in a row. Celebrating the most innovative and impactful work in the area of sustainability in the post-16 education sector, the award was given in recognition of the Rowett Institute’s work on regenerating Scotland’s hemp industry for health, climate and a green economy.

Senior Vice-Principal Professor Karl Leydecker said: “We are focused on being a university which has a real impact on the world around us, making a difference to environmental sustainability through our education, our research and how we operate as an organisation.

“Sustainability, tackling the climate emergency and safeguarding our environment are the responsibility of our whole community. This is an excellent result and hugely rewarding to see the contributions made by our colleagues and students towards meeting the ambitions of our Aberdeen 2040 strategy recognised on the global stage like this.”

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