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UC ranked Number 1 in the world for reducing inequalities

Andy Visser

22 April 2021: The University of Canberra today celebrates topping the world rankings for its work to reduce inequalities in the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings is the only system in the world that ranks universities according to how they measure up to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The result is an important indicator of the University’s impact on local and global communities, as well as its progressive outlook and strong focus on partnerships.

“This is an amazing achievement for UC,” said Professor Paddy Nixon, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University. “Education is the key to addressing inequality and as a civic university it is our role to ensure we have a warm, living community that supports all our students and staff, and that the research we do impacts the real world.”

Benchmarking ourselves against universities from around the world, contributes to continued improvement and demonstrates that UC is making positive strides in achieving its sustainable development goals in Canberra, effecting change in Australia and is well positioned in its efforts among peers on the international stage.

Now in its third year, the THE Impact Rankings is the only system in the world that ranks universities according to how they measure up to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), comparing institutions across research, outreach and stewardship in various categories.

The overall combined ranking places the University at 57th in the world – moving up from the 101-200 band last year.

In the Reduced Inequalities category, the University’s research on social inequalities, policies on discrimination, and commitment to recruiting staff and students from under-represented groups, were all factors that led to it being named the number 1 university in the world.

“We are immensely proud of this result because it is high external recognition that the University of Canberra is moving strongly in the right direction to achieving our sustainable development goals, and that is very encouraging,” said Professor Leigh Sullivan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation.

“Of UC’s student population, 38 per cent are First Generation students, and 10 per cent identify as students with disabilities.

“Last year, we reached the milestone of having two per cent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment at the University, well on the way towards our goal of three per cent.

“These are just some quantifiable indicators of UC’s diverse community of both students and staff, and that our strong policies supporting equity and diversity are effective.”

UC also tied in fifth place for Quality Education, and is placed in the Top 20 for Gender Equality.

“The University is proud that five per cent of our graduates have gained teaching qualifications and serve the community in an educational capacity,” said Professor Sullivan. “In addition, the University offers lifelong learning opportunities, outreach and a host of events for our broader communities, as part of our commitment to supporting high quality education.”

As part of its strong commitment to becoming the national sector leader in equity, diversity, inclusion and access, the University was an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for 12 consecutive years, until its last submission in 2019. It also received the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award as part of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) in 2020.

For the Sustainable Development Goal of Life on Land, the University placed in the Top 50, while for Clean Water and Sanitation; Decent Work and Economic Growth; Good Health and Wellbeing; Life Below Water; Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, the University placed in the Top 100.

“These rankings results belong to each and every member of the UC community, whose efforts to support diversity and equity have made such a difference. As we celebrate, we also acknowledge that there still remains much to address in these areas, and we are also looking forward to building on our current work, towards achieving all our sustainable development goals,” said Professor Sullivan.