Rationale behind the THE Impact Rankings

The Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings represent the world’s first global attempt to document evidence of universities’ broader impact on society, rather than just research and teaching performance.

THE’s assessment of “impact” is based on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). For 11 of the 17 UN SDGs that are particularly relevant to higher education institutions, THE developed metrics based on research, outreach and stewardship.

The University of Auckland submission

Following the official announcement of the project at THE’s flagship World Summit in Singapore last year and the subsequent New Zealand workshop held at the University of Auckland, we decided to participate in the pioneer project to understand our progress in achieving sustainable development as compared with our domestic and international peers.

Coordinated by the University’s Planning and Information Office, the submission made by the University was based on the collective efforts of our staff from the Sustainability Office, the Equity Office, Academic Services, Finance Office, and Libraries & Learning Services, without whom it would not have been possible to gather the student and staff data, sustainability reports, policy documents, and financial data required for the ranking within a relatively short period of time (data gathering period: December 2018 – January 2019).


SDG number Sustainable Development Goal No. of
Participating Universities
of Auckland rank
3 Good Health and Wellbeing 421 1st
4 Quality Education 453 15th
5 Gender Equality 336 6th=
8 Decent Work and Economic Growth 291 15th
10 Reduced Inequalities 275 19th
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities 293 11th
16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 274 7th
17 Partnership for the Goals 487 1st=
Overall Based on SDG 3, SDG 5, SDG 11 and SDG 17 462 1st