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28 April 2022

King's ranked among top 5 UK universities for environmental and social impact

King’s recognised for delivering the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in the 2022 THE Impact Rankings.

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022, King's ranked 5th in the UK

King’s has been ranked 5th in the UK, 5th in Europe and 24th in the world in the 2022 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, in recognition of the university’s positive environmental and social impact. King’s also retained the top position among London universities in this ranking for the fourth year in a row.

Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings is the only global ranking that measures universities’ contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a set of 17 goals approved by the 193 member states of the UN which aim to transform the world by 2030. The Impact Rankings comprise 18 league tables, which includes the overall ranking and one for each of the 17 SDGs. A university’s final score in the overall ranking is calculated by combining its score for ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ (SDG 17) with its top three scores out of the remaining SDGs.

As more and more universities see the importance of making a difference to the world's greatest challenges (over 1,500 this year), we are proud that King's has been a leader in the collaborations and partnerships that make this possible. At King’s, we believe 'Our Deeds Define Us' and we are delighted to see this recognised by a position amongst the top 25 universities in the world in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. This achievement would not be possible without the dedication of the King's community who fulfil this commitment in a number of inspirational ways.

Professor Evelyn Welch, Senior Vice President (Service, People & Planning)

With 1,524 universities from 110 countries/regions participating, the 2022 THE Impact Rankings is significantly larger than the previous three editions, with the 2021 rankings assessing submissions from 1,239 universities from 98 countries/regions.*

Our highest SDG in the 2022 Impact Rankings is for ‘Life on land’ (SDG 15), for which we ranked joint eighth in the world, an increase of 31 positions from last year. This places King’s among the top 10 universities in the world for research and education that serves to protect and preserve land ecosystems. Our two other top contributing SDGs were ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’ (SDG 11), and ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ (SDG 12).

King’s improved our score on 13 out of the 17 SDGs, ranking among the top 50 universities in the world for 13 SDGs, which demonstrates the breadth of the university’s environmental and social impact. King’s also jumped over 65 places for ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’ (SDG 7), and more than 40 places for ‘Gender Equality’ (SDG 5) and ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ (SDG 6).

At King’s, we strive to make a positive impact in our local, national and international communities. We are immensely proud that our continued commitment to serving society has been recognised in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which demonstrate the broader social responsibility of universities. I would like to thank our students, staff, alumni and community partners for making this achievement possible through their continued dedication to making a real difference in the world.

Professor Shitij Kapur, President & Principal of King's College London

The methodology for the 2022 Impact Rankings included greater emphasis on support for immigrants and refugees and rewarded institutions with dedicated courses on sustainability and the SDGs. King’s is proud to be leading on transformative social impact initiatives in both areas.

There are over 100 modules related to sustainability and climate change across King’s, including ‘Sustainability and Ethics’, ‘Sustainable Cities’ and ‘Literature, Climate and Futurity’. Through the recently launched online co-curricular module, ‘Sustainability & Climate’, all students and staff can gain a meaningful understanding of sustainability, the SDGs and how related issues are relevant to their degrees, work and career aspirations. We plan to continue our work in this area with the goal of ensuring all students at King’s have access to education on environmental and social sustainability.

King’s is also leading on a University Sponsorship Model for UK universities to best implement the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. This initiative builds on King’s longstanding work into creating opportunities for forcefully displaced people and sits alongside King’s Sanctuary Programme, which was formed in 2015 in response to the global issue of forced displacement.

The ethos of King’s is to try to make a better world, going above and beyond what might be expected of a university. That is why we made Service the third and equal part of our academic mission, alongside Education and Research. Service at King’s embodies our commitment to positive social impact in London, across the UK and around the world.


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*1,524 institutions from 110 countries/regions submitted data for the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which was assessed across 18 separate league tables for each SDG and the overall ranking. 1,406 universities met the criteria to be ranked in the overall list in 2022, which included a compulsory submission for SDG 17 and at least three other SDGs, compared to 1,117 universities in 2021. This represents a 26 per cent increase in the number of participating universities.

In this story

Shitij Kapur

Vice-Chancellor & President of King's College London