SOAS University of London

SOAS ranks high in the THE Impact rankings 2021 for UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 11 and 16

21 April 2021

SOAS University of London has ranked in the Top 50 universities in the world and seventh in the UK for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 1: No Poverty. SOAS has also ranked in the Top 100 in the world and Top 20 in the UK for SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. SOAS has scored in the top 25% for all the SDGs it submitted. 

Now in its third year, The Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2021 captures universities’ impact on society, based on institutions’ success in delivering the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These global goals are aimed at creating a more equal and sustainable world by 2030. With 1,240 institutions from across the world taking part, SOAS ranked in the top 300 overall.

Claire Ozanne, Interim Director said: “This is wonderful news for SOAS. It is a testament to the dedication of all our colleagues to their research and teaching on the most pressing issues of our time, in addition to the hard work of our staff and students aimed at alleviating poverty and fighting for a fairer, more sustainable world. As the world continues to face a number of new and existing challenges, the work of universities in supporting the delivery of the SDGs is more important than ever.”

SOAS also ranked in the top 200 in the world for SDG10: Reduced Inequalities and SDG13: Climate Action and in the top 300 for SDG17: Partnership for the Goals. SOAS improved its scores from 2020 for SDG1 No Poverty and SDG17 Partnership for the Goals. 

Thank you to all the SOAS Staff, Student groups and Alumni whose activity was submitted. 

The Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings are designed for research-intensive global universities and are dominated by indicators of research excellence. It provides a showcase for the impact of work being delivered by universities in communities, and it is an opportunity to shine a light on institutional activities and efforts not covered in other rankings.

SOAS offers a range of degree programmes related to sustainable development:

  • The Department of Development Studies is distinguished by its critical and engaged approach to international development, understanding social and economic change, and the impact of such change on affected communities, development actors and governments.
  • The Department of Economics is a leading centre for economics research. Its vibrant research culture is driven by staff working on issues such as gender inequality, the economics of climate change and economics of sustainable business. The department specialises in the study of developing and emerging economies and the work covers an unparalleled range of regions from Sub-Saharan Africa to Japan and South Asia.
  • The Department of Politics and International Studies is distinguished by a critical approach to the study of the politics of the Global South. SOAS Politics programmes engage with developments in African, Asian and Middle Eastern domestic and international politics, and their relationship to countries in the West.
  • The Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy through varied degree programmes and course offerings, as well a range of extra-curricular activities has developed policy impact research programmes for the SDGs. These include work on a new paradigm for effective war crimes prosecutions, enabling women and girls' education, enhancing sport diplomacy for development, and energising the global disarmament agenda.
  • The School of Law’s research influences public and policy debate, legal practice and public understanding of social and legal issues. The School’s wide thematic and regional expertise makes a significant impact on non-academic bodies and individuals in the UK and in our specialist regions of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The School’s work addresses justice, including International Criminal Law, conflict resolution, peacebuilding, transitional justice, institutional reform, law and development, climate change and the environment.
  • The SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance aims to advance the transition to an equitable, low-carbon economy by providing a forum for interdisciplinary research on sustainable finance and investment. It seeks to enhance the knowledge and understanding of sustainable finance in both the Global North and South and act as a focal point for policy debates in this area.
  • The SOAS Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP) seeks to address some of the greatest challenges of our times: how to satisfy the aspirations of a rapidly growing global population, including eradicating the poverty still experienced by many of these people, whilst at the same time managing the environmental systems and resources on which life and wellbeing depend. CeDEP's academic staff undertake research and postgraduate teaching in the fields of agricultural economics, rural development, environmental economics and management, poverty reduction, sustainability, climate change and development.