The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University enjoy success in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

Both The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University enjoy success in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2024.

The University of Manchester continues to rank number one in the UK, number one in Europe and second in the world for social and environmental impact, and Manchester Met made a significant leap, climbing into the top 3% of institutions globally

The ranking, now in its sixth year, measures universities’ contributions to the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and assesses their commitment to sustainability across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach and teaching. 

The University of Manchester topped the global rankings for the Sustainable Cities and Communities goal. Initiatives contributing to this achievement include the Platinum Watermark for Public Engagement, the investment made in four public-facing cultural institutions and the Creative Manchester initiative, a commitment to sustainable travel, and world-leading cross-faculty research into the effects of air pollution on health.  

The University was also ranked first in the world for the Life on Land goal, thanks to initiatives including research by the Manchester Institute for Biotechnology into soil microbial diversity, work to enhance and map nature on campus and the commitment the University places on sustainable food procurement.  

Other areas where the University was shown to be a world leader include research impact towards Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; the number of patents citing university research; the number of university spin-outs; the quality of the University’s SDG reporting; and on the commitment to educational for sustainable development through the School of Health Science’s free Public Health online courses and interdisciplinary course units on the SDGs. 

Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility and Civic Engagement at The University of Manchester, who leads the institution’s entry to the ranking, said:  
“Each year we submit over 300 pieces of evidence for this ranking covering our cultural institutions, sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion, widening access, research impact, public and civic engagement, external partnerships, innovation, the student experience and reporting on the SDGs. Everyone in our University community should be proud of this independent measure of our commitment to social responsibility.” 

The rankings come from a record assessment of 2,152 universities from 125 countries and regions, which is a 26 per cent increase on the previous year when 1,705 universities were ranked. This year 72 UK universities participated in the ranking, 11 more than last year.  

Manchester Met has made a significant leap, climbing 22 places to 44th in the world. This puts the University in the top 3% of ranked institutions globally and 9th in the UK. 

This overall ranking reflects the University’s growing influence and commitment to sustainability and tackling social inequalities on a global scale. 

The rise in the THE Impact Rankings stems from a strategic commitment to address global challenges through excellent education and delivering research with impact – two of the core goals of Manchester Met’s Road to 2030 Strategy.  

In this year’s rankings, Manchester Met reached the top 20 in the world for the Responsible Consumption and Production and Partnership for the Goals SDGs, and top 100 for Decent Work and Economic Growth and Life on Land. 

Professor Liz Price, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sustainability at Manchester Met, said:  

“This significant rise of 22 places in the THE Impact Rankings is a testament to our collective efforts and unwavering dedication to sustainability and tackling social inequality. It reinforces our position as a leading institution committed to making a positive difference. 

“As we continue to enhance our contributions across the SDGs, we aim to build on this result; fostering innovation, inclusivity and sustainability, driving transformative change, and using our impactful research to tackle the grand challenges of our time on a global scale.” 

The success reflects the continuing global influence of both Manchester Met and The University of Manchester as they mark their bicentenary years.