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Bristol scores highly in global sustainable development rankings

Students enjoying Royal Fort Gardens

Students enjoy the sunshine in Royal Fort Gardens

Royal Fort House and Wills Tower

The University's Royal Fort House and Wills Memorial Building

Press release issued: 12 June 2024

The University of Bristol is celebrating after scoring in the top 100 in its first entry into the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings.

The league table plots the performance of more than 2,000 leading universities against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Released today, the 2024 rankings placed Bristol 92nd (top 5%) globally.

Bristol was also confirmed as 27th in the world for SDG 12 ‘responsible consumption and production’, 40th in the world for SDG 17 ‘partnerships for the goals’ and 45th in the world for SDG 11 ‘sustainable cities and communities’.

Within the UK, Bristol was placed 8th for SDG 11 ‘sustainable cities and communities’, 9th for SDG 2 ‘zero hunger’ and 10th for SDG 1 ‘no poverty’.

The University of Bristol’s new strategic ambition emphasises the transformative power of a global civic university.

Prof Palie Smart, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Civic Engagement at the University, said: “Bristol is a global civic university, which means we are committed to addressing global challenges to deliver civic impact locally, nationally and internationally.

“The UN Sustainable Development Goals are used in Bristol and beyond as a common narrative to address the challenges we face locally and globally, so entering the rankings helps us in our interactions with our partners in the city, region and around the world.

“We are so pleased to see Times Higher Education recognising the work of our amazing staff and students, and I would like to thank everyone at the University who made this possible.”

The rankings measure universities’ contribution to promoting sustainability through the key areas of research, teaching, community outreach and institutional behaviour.

Prof Michele Acuto, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at the University of Bristol, said: “We are proud to see our University featuring highly in our first ever entry into the THE Impact Rankings.

"The University has been a trailblazer in city-university collaborations to advance the SDGs locally and globally, (as with delivering one of the world's first voluntary local reviews of the SDGs with the city), and the THE result is a fitting recognition of the many staff and students proactively driving this global agenda.

“The THE Impact Rankings help us understand where the University is making the biggest strides, and where we can make improvements to create positive change.”

The good news comes after QS’ influential rankings placed Bristol as the 54th best university in the world and 9th best in the UK. It also found Bristol to be the 17th most sustainable university in the world.

Meanwhile, the Complete University Guide placed 30 Bristol subjects in the top 10 of their fields in the UK.

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