RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences has ranked number one in the world for SDG3 ‘Good Health and Wellbeing’ in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings 2023.
The THE University Impact Rankings recognise universities around the world for their social and economic impact based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over 1,200 universities around the world participated in the SDG 3 ranking, an increase of 600 since RCSI first achieved the number one position in 2020.
RCSI is Ireland’s only university solely focussed on education, training and research in health sciences. As a signatory to the SDG Accord, RCSI is committed to achieving the SDGs through its education, research and university operations.
Critical initiatives over the past year, including the launch of a new School of Population Health, leading a programme to embed Sustainability and Climate Health into Ireland’s medical curriculum and the university’s unique collaboration with the Colleges of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa to address inequalities in surgical access, demonstrate the university’s commitment to collaboration to achieve the UNSDGs.
Recognising the crucial link between human health and the health of the planet, RCSI has developed a road map to achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2050 which encompasses its campus operations, education and training, research and a focus on leadership in sustainable healthcare. This commitment is reflected in RCSI also gaining Beacon Status from the UK’s Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and being named the top-performing medical school in Ireland in the Planetary Health Report Card 2023 – a student-led initiative aimed at increasing planetary health awareness and accountability amongst international medical schools.
As a result of this, RCSI’s position in the overall Impact Ranking has also risen to 101-200 in the world.
Professor Cathal Kelly, RCSI Vice Chancellor, said: “We are driven by our mission to educate, nurture and discover for the benefit to human health. We place a particular emphasis on nurturing the well-being of our staff and students, which includes the introduction of a Lifestyle Medicine student choice module and becoming a signatory of Ireland’s “Healthy Campus Charter”.
“I am grateful to everyone in the RCSI community for their efforts and also to the many partners we work with in addressing the global challenges outlined by the UNSDGs. To be recognised in this way is testament to the meaningful collaborative efforts of our students, academic and professional staff, clinicians, community and health services partners.”
THE’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Phil Baty, said: “The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, now in its fifth year, is establishing itself as one of the world’s most important university rankings. It moves away from the traditional and more narrow approach to rankings and looks at far broader issues – examining how universities are improving our world.
“It is inspiring to see even more universities participate and see countries that don’t normally rank so highly do so well. This is an extremely valuable tool for universities, governments, funders and policymakers to understand how universities are supporting the drive to meet the UN’s SDGs and what must be done to improve their performance even further in this massively important area.
“The rankings are also vital for millions of prospective students who are increasingly demanding to see evidence that the universities they consider for their education are committed to sustainability and to helping them to become sustainably minded citizens.”