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Gender Equality and Education best for UC in 2020 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

24 April 2020

The University of Canberra has achieved some notable results in the 2020 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, released earlier this week. Nationally, the University of Canberra placed in the top 30 of the 2020 THE Impact Rankings and placed in the top five in the categories of Gender Equality and Quality Education.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings recognises the social and economic impact of universities across the world based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The rankings are in their second iteration this year and consider institutions’ success in delivering on the SDGs through policies, outreach and collaboration.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Paddy Nixon said that these particular rankings were unique.

“These rankings shine a light on the achievements that aren’t covered in other rankings measurements, looking to the activities and efforts of universities’ social and economic contributions to the world,” he said.

The University’s high ranking in the Quality Education category was achieved through the provision of educational support to not only students, but the wider local community, as well as programs such as UC 4 Yourself, which raises aspirations of higher education for disadvantaged high school students.

The University’s key strengths in the Gender Equality category included current policies that address equity in relation to employment and admissions, mentoring and support services to ensure vulnerable groups have equal access to employment and education, the number of women in science and the proportion of female academic staff.

Trish Bergin, co-director of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, a gender equality initiative housed within the University’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, said that it was exciting and reaffirming to see the work of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation being recognised as having an impact in addressing gender equality. Ms Bergin added that it was incredibly timely given how COVID-19 is impacting on women’s lives.

“We can see how essential traditional female jobs – nurses, teachers, child care and aged care workers – are to the economy even though they continue to be underpaid and underappreciated. We can also see that women have, to a large degree, been locked out of leadership and decision making roles in Australia.

“We continue to push for the inclusion of women from all walks of life to be included in not only the crisis response, but in the critical recovery phase. When we look to the countries that are nailing the crisis – New Zealand, Taiwan and Germany for starters – they all have one thing in common. Prominent and visible female leaders.”

Other high-performing areas for the University of Canberra were Life on Land (sixth nationally), Economic Growth (sixth nationally), Innovation (seventh nationally), Clean Water (eighth nationally) and Reduced Inequalities (ninth nationally).

Overall, the University of Canberra was ranked in the global 101–200 broad band – equal to 16th in Australia along with six other institutions.

“While these rankings provide a positive starting point, we recognise that there are improvements that can be made, and we will always seek to make real-world impacts through our engagement with the Canberra community and beyond,” Professor Nixon said.