The University of Haifa ranked in the 101-200 cluster in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings report, jumping an entire cluster from the previous year and two clusters from 2021.
The index, released at the end of last month, measures how academic institutions are fulfilling the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The university now places alongside other top-ranked universities, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University. The only other Israeli university on the list is Bar-Ilan University, ranked in the 401-600 cluster.
Israel's University of Haifa climbs the ranks of sustainable institutions
“In the 21st century, universities must be part of the fabric of local and global society. We must be influential and involved, and we must play a part in finding solutions to the major challenges facing humanity,” said University of Haifa rector Prof. Gur Alroey. “We at the University of Haifa choose to be a beacon of values and a strategic anchor for all of Israeli society and not an ‘ivory tower.’ Our placement in the Impact Rankings results from the substantial investment that the university has made in the fields of social and environmental sustainability.”
The university ranked ninth in the category of “gender equality,” up from 55th last year. It ranked 28th in “life below water” and “peace, justice and strong institutions” – jumping 70 and 27 places, respectively.
The University of Haifa was Israel’s first higher education institution to officially adopt the UN’s SDGs as part of its university-wide vision. From the administration to the students, the school said its staff and students are working together to promote the UN’s recommended human, social and environmental values.
In addition to establishing its School of Environmental Studies and focus groups on issues like inequality and environmental sustainability, the university completed a report on its carbon footprint and prepared a plan to reduce it.
The University of Haifa is also home to the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences. The school signed a trilateral collaboration agreement with Emirati and German academic institutes to investigate the consequences of climate change and pollution in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf at the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27).
This year’s report is the fifth year of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, published by Times Higher Education magazine. It includes 1,591 universities from 112 countries and regions.
The top-ranked university was Australia’s Western Sydney University; the second and third spots went to the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and Queen’s University in Canada. The UK has the most universities in the top 100.
The rankings examine the universities by looking at four areas: research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.
The 17 SDGs included no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships for the goals.
A full explanation of Time’s methodology can be found online at https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/impact-rankings-2023-methodology.