World 100 members have again proved the link between reputation and the real world impact of universities, achieving 4 of the top 10 places (and 9 of the top 20) in the latest THE Impact Rankings published on 21st April 2021.

The University of Manchester was ranked first in the table that sets out to measure university progress towards the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the University of Sydney following close behind in second place.

Other outstanding performances included the University of Wollongong (6th) and Arizona State University (9th). UK universities performed well including King’s College London (11th), Newcastle University (15th) and University of Leeds (16th); as did Canadian institutions UBC (13th) and McMaster (14th).

World 100 members also performed strongly in the individual rankings linked to specific SDGs with Sydney ranked first for SDG 6 (Clean Water), and UBC and Toronto achieving top spot for SDG 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure). Manchester topped the SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) tables, and University Of Newcastle led for SDG 17 (Partnerships).

The third iteration of the THE Impact Rankings featured 1115 universities worldwide. Although the methodology does not include specific reference to reputation, it is becoming clear that universities are becoming more focused on demonstrating this impact to build profile with key audiences.

THE’s Chief Data Officer Duncan Ross described the Impact Rankings as “a catalyst for action, a mechanism for holding our universities to account, and an opportunity for them to highlight great work that they are already doing.”

Impact Rankings Quote from Duncan Ross

The latest rankings were launched at the THE Innovation and Impact Summit, which also featured a World 100-led session focused on how universities are using evidence of their impact to build global reputation impact.