The University of Cape Town (UCT) has been ranked 9th for clean water and sanitation, while also performing well in three other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This is according to the annual list published by Times Higher Education (THE).
The THE Impact Rankings measure the success of universities in delivering the UN SDGs. Universities can choose to enter some or all of the 17 goals, and UCT chose to participate in nine.
Clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), a first-time submission, was ranked in the top 10 in the world at 9th position. A further three areas were placed within the top 100:
The remaining five areas all ranked within the top 200.
“We are fast running out of time to achieve the targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, particularly on the African continent, which is at the sharp end of these challenges,” said Vice-Chancellor (Interim) Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy.
“The Impact Ranking results demonstrate UCT’s commitment to contribute towards addressing the continent’s grand challenges.”
“It is more important than ever for institutions of higher education to pursue the agenda through collaborative research of high quality, while also educating the next generation of leaders and having them set an example on their own campuses. UCT’s Vision 2030 commits the university to ‘Unleash human potential to create a fair and just society’. This vision, we feel, encapsulates the mission of the UN SDGs and the African Union Agenda 2063, the latter of which importantly provides continent-specific goals. The Impact Ranking results demonstrate UCT’s commitment to contribute towards addressing the continent’s grand challenges.”
This is the third year that UCT has participated in these relatively new rankings (introduced as a pilot in 2019).
UCT submitted information for nine SDGs this year, of which four were ranked among the top 100 globally:
UCT was placed in the 101–200 band in the overall global ranking.
“Placing 9th in the world for SDG 6 focused on clean water and sanitation is an achievement of which we are particularly proud,” said Professor Sue Harrison, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation. “Water scarcity is an increasing threat to health and well-being on the African continent, particularly in urban environments. Further, its scarcity constrains developments in both industry and agriculture, demanding effective re-use of fit-for-purpose quality water. UCT’s Future Water Institute produces impactful research in this field by pulling together researchers across disciplines, and from all UCT’s faculties, to increase knowledge and understanding, and to produce potential solutions, collaborating closely with communities, policy makers and industry.”
To produce their impact rankings, THE uses indicators in four broad areas:
Each university’s total score in a given year is determined by its combined performance in its top three SDGs (each counting 26%) and SDG 17 (counting 22%). The score for the overall ranking is an average of the last two year’s total scores.
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