University ranked among world’s top higher education institutions tackling global challenges

June 24th, 2024

The University of Nottingham has been recognised alongside the world’s top higher education institutions that are driving positive global change and helping to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems including poverty, climate change and social injustice. 

Nottingham has been ranked in the Top 200 in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2024, which are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The university has been ranked in the Top 100 for a number of individual SDG areas – Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Climate Action, Life Below Water and Life on Land. 

The ranking measures the performance of more than 2,000 institutions in 125 countries and regions across their research, stewardship, outreach and teaching activities in relation to all 17 of the individual development goals. 

The announcement came at the Global Sustainable Development Congress in Bangkok where 3,000 global thought leaders and innovators  gathered to discuss urgent solutions to the international sustainability emergency. 

Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Norman delivered a keynote speech to delegates at the four-day congress, which took place from 10-13 June, on the topic of The Sustainability Crises of Our Time: Energy Decarbonisation and Sustainable Industry, alongside Gita Wirjawan, honorary professor in the University of Nottingham’s School of Politics. 

Professor Norman said: “I’m very proud of the work the University of Nottingham carries out with partners that contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals and I’m delighted that we are ranked in the top 100 for a number of SDGs.” 

Nottingham was ranked in the Top 100 in six of the SDGs: 

Zero Hunger (79 out of 803 institutions)
Fighting hidden hunger
As part of an international research partnership funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the university is fighting hidden hunger, which affects millions across sub-Saharan Africa due to the nutrient deficiencies in their diet. 

Clean Water and Sanitation (Joint 75 out of 867 institutions)
Blue-greening cities for climate change adaptation
The university works with partners in Nottingham and across the world to show that protecting communities against flood risk can also make them greener, healthier and more pleasant places to live. 

Decent Work and Economic Growth (Joint 53 out of 1149 institutions)
The Rights Lab: fighting exploitation
The Rights Lab, the world’s largest group of modern slavery researchers, works with government and industry to protect workers from exploitation and bring an end to the blight of slavery. 

Climate Action (Joint 86 out of 924 institutions)
Retrofit road map for city’s housing
University researchers are delivering a project that will inform the retrofit of Nottingham’s existing housing stock to improve energy efficiency and bring the city closer to its 2028 target for net zero emissions. 

Life Below Water (Joint 63 out of 628 institutions)
Informing UN report on plastic marine pollution
Evidence-based recommendations from the university’s Water Works research group were presented to the United Nations Environment Assembly and informed its subsequent report on marine plastic pollution and call for urgent global action. 

Life on Land (60 out of 741 institutions)
Living with elephants
The University of Nottingham Malaysia is helping safeguard the country’s elephants. By working with government and communities, researchers are informing elephant-friendly approaches to ease conflict between farmers and our biggest land animal. 

Discover more about the University of Nottingham’s commitment to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals 

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