KPI retains its position in THE Impact Rankings amidst greater competition

A record 1,705 universities from 115 countries and regions were assessed in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings this year, compared with 1,524 institutions from 110 countries in 2022. Progress was measured for each of the individual 17 SDGs, and across the goals as a whole, which saw 18 universities from 10 countries and regions achieve number one positions.

Overall, there are 33 ranked Ukrainian institutions compared with 26 last year. The Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI) successfully retained its 1001+ overall ranking’s position.

Specifically in Ukraine, KPI is second for SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), fourth for SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG 14 (life below water). This is the strong result demonstrating that KPI is highly competitive globally. However, KPI did not perform as strongly in SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals).

These results need to be viewed in the context of a rising number of ranked institutions globally, indicating greater competition globally and that more institutions are embracing these rankings. It is worth noting too that the bulk of Ukrainian institutions are in the lower reaches of the rankings, most notably the 1001+ range.

Importantly, THE communications manager Ben Miller said THE had “minimised” visibility of russian and Belarusian universities in all rankings by “greying them out” and by not making their institutional profiles available. In a statement released in March 2022, THE said it would be taking steps to ensure that russian universities “are given less prominence in the rankings, and that their university profiles are not available”.

This decision was made in response to russia’s open aggression against Ukraine, which directly threatens liberty and democracy, the fundamental values undergirding academic freedom. Together with the missile, drone and artillery attacks on Ukrainian kindergartens, schools, hospitals and universities, all of which are war crimes committed by russian terrorists today, the abduction and torture of professors amounts to a campaign against Ukrainian intellectuals and civic leaders that recalls the destruction of Ukraine’s teachers, professors and writers by Stalin in the 1930s when some 80% of the nation’s intelligentsia was destroyed. At present, such atrocities are the official policy of the russian government.

Today ‘ruscism‘, the compound of “russian” and “fascism”, is widely used in Ukraine to describe invaders and terrorists. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has voted that the forced detention and deportation of Ukrainian children from occupied territories of Ukraine is genocide. Russia’s history, marked by Stalin and the infamous Lubyanka prison, is built on the blood of countless individuals.

THE Impact Rankings, now in its fifth year, is the world’s only one that measures universities’ contributions specifically to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), although there are other rankings that assess universities’ contribution to sustainability, such as the QS World University Rankings, University Ranking and UI Green Metric.

The THE ranking assesses commitment to sustainability across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach and teaching based on self-submitted data from universities. However, a university’s ranking is based on its performance in SDG 17 and three other SDGs, rather than across all the SDGs.

In addition, the score for the overall ranking is an average of the last two years’ total scores.

According to Ben Miller, this scoring measure was implemented for the first time this year to “increase the stability of the overall ranking, and to recognise the overall ranking’s position as a broader assessment of a university’s institution-wide commitment to sustainability in general”.

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