GCU on top of the world in new impact rankings

03 April 2019

Chancellor Annie Lennox,  leader of global feminism, in front of the portrait of Emeritus Chancellor  Muhammad Yunus, anti-poverty campaigner.

Chancellor Annie Lennox, leader of global feminism, in front of the portrait of Emeritus Chancellor Muhammad Yunus, anti-poverty campaigner.

Glasgow Caledonian University has been placed within the top 15 universities in the world for gender equality and reducing inequalities, according to the inaugural Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

The new metric from Times Higher Education, which evaluates the social impact of universities, ranks GCU 44th in the world overall, third in Scotland and tenth in the UK. More than 500 institutions across 75 countries participated, presenting evidence of their impact against a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The University’s performance has been warmly welcomed by the Principal, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, who said: “This new THE league table provides a fresh lens through which to consider the excellence and importance of the contribution of universities around the world. For many years the values led community of staff, students and partners of Glasgow Caledonian University have delivered impact of relevance to the sustainable development goals through our education, research, volunteering and collaborative activities. 

"I am delighted our demonstrable contribution for the common good has been recognised, particularly in respect of the university’s commitment to social justice through our work to reduce inequalities and promote equality and diversity.”

The achievement has also drawn praise from Scotland’s Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie MSP, who said: “I applaud this remarkable achievement which places Glasgow Caledonian University at the forefront of gender equality on a world stage. Having visited only a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing first-hand how much this Scottish university does to promote gender and social equality.”

The application process required universities to provide evidence against SDG 17, partnership for the goals, and at least three other SDGs chosen from a list of ten. The University performed most strongly in achieving gender equality, ranking 12th in the world, and reducing inequalities, ranking joint 14th. On both metrics, GCU is first in Scotland and third in the UK. The University ranked joint 29th in the world for evidence of impact on good health and wellbeing, second in Scotland and seventh in the UK.

Pro Vice Chancellor of Research, Professor Cam Donaldson, described the result as a remarkable achievement. He said: “This result is recognition and confirmation of a whole-institution approach to the ‘University for the Common Good’, cutting across teaching, extra-curricular activities and, of course, research. With respect to research, we chose, in 2017, to be one of the first universities to coalesce our strategy around the Sustainable Development Goals, issued by United Nations in 2015 and in place until 2030. The 17 Goals represent the most comprehensive statement ever issued of what our societies, globally, need to achieve to reach well-being for all.”