On the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2021, published on April 21, the University of Split ranked for the first time in the first 10 of totally 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as the only Croatian university on the list. Up to now, the University of Split has only been ranked for the third UN’s sustainable development goal "Health and well-being" and, according to collected data, this year for the first time we are ranked in as many as 10 goals. This shows University of Split’s concern for our society’s sustainable development and indicates areas in which we contributed greatly.
This ranking is UN’s pioneering initiative to recognize social and economic impact universities have around the world, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Precise criteria are used to ensure a comprehensive and balanced comparison in three broad areas: research, community impact and governance. Times Higher Education developed this type of evaluation because it sees universities as a major driving force in society, institutions that can change society for the better, generate opportunities in their environment, reduce economic inequality, raise environmental awareness and educate the public on the importance of enduring effort on achieving sustainable development. The number of institutions participating in the ranking has increased by almost 50%, to 1249 this year, there has been a significant increase in the number of reported SDGs, and the criteria for evaluating evidence have been tightened.
Sustainability is one of the fundamental principles in our University’s Strategy, and taking part in this ranking allows us to continuously monitor our contribution to society, compare and exchange practices with the best universities, as well as provides incentive to further progress in all segments of university’s action.
The University of Split achieved the best results for UN’s Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (ranking between 301 and 400), then for Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities (401-600), Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth (401-600) and Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (401-600).
For SDG 16, it meant a lot that many scientists from university constituents, cooperating with Croatian Government and the local community, are actively involved in the drafting development strategies and plans. For example, university experts in the City of Split’s Development Strategy, University department of Marine Studies participating in Ministry of Agriculture’s Committee and the Working Group in charge of drafting proposal of the Management Plan for fishing with coastal seines and the one for fishing with surrounding nets, etc.
For a good placement concerning goal 11, the University reported activities related to promoting sustainable commuting, that is the Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering participating in implementing the Interreg project DEEP-SEA, aimed at warning against polluting forms of transport (cars, ship engines with endothermal combustion), encouraging and offering cleaner (more sustainable) forms of transport. Also, in student dormitories "Dr. Franjo Tuđman ”,“ Bruno Bušić ”and“ Hostel Spinut ”as much as 70 percent of accommodations is intended for students whose home budget does not exceed 65% of the national average, as well as for students with disabilities. Contribution to preserving cultural heritage and numerous arts events the University of Split uses to enrich its community has also been recognized.
Link to THE University Impact Rankings 2021: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/impactrankings