University of Haifa rises in global sustainability ranking

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

University of Haifa (Courtesy)
University of Haifa (Courtesy)

The University of Haifa ranks high — in the 101-200 cluster — in the most recent edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Report, which assessed 1,600 universities around the world against the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Israeli university’s ranking rose by over 100 places since last year, placing it alongside some of the world’s leading universities, including MIT and New York University.

The impact rankings calibrate 17 indicators against four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching. The goals relate to real influence on the main challenges facing the global community, such as the war on poverty and inequality, ensuring equality in education, climate change, development and access to new energies, maintaining biodiversity, and marine research. The scores and rankings reflect the quality of research in areas connected to the 17 SDGs, as well as on curricula and student activities, public involvement, and the institution’s internal behavior

“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,” says Prof. Gur Alroey, rector of the University of Haifa.

The university’s rise in the rankings reflects its adoption last year of a new vision based on a commitment to social and environmental sustainability, in keeping with the 17 UN-defined SDGs. Actions taken include research grants for impact studies; sustainability studies courses open to all students; establishment of the School of Environmental Studies; completion of a comprehensive report on the university’s carbon footprint and preparing a plan to reduce it; and establishment of research focus groups on key global issues, including inequality and environmental sustainability

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