La Trobe is top of the world for impact

La Trobe University has demonstrated its global impact in the latest Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, placing fourth in the world, third in Australia and first in Victoria for overall contribution to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and ranking first in the world for gender equality and second for its contribution to health and well-being.

La Trobe University Chancellor Mr John Brumby AO said the rankings reflect the University’s commitment to making the world a better place.

“It’s an outstanding result and a wonderful recognition of the hard work and deep commitment of our teachers and researchers, alumni and financial supporters,” Mr Brumby said.

“La Trobe is deeply engaged with and committed to addressing the world’s biggest issues; from gender equality to student employability and from health research and collaboration to reducing inequality and discrimination,” Mr Brumby said.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said placing in the world’s top five universities for contribution to the UN’s SDGs was a fantastic acknowledgment of La Trobe’s overall impact, that goes beyond one single metric.

“What is so pleasing about this ranking is that it covers so many different aspects of our work – teaching, research and operations – and captures so well what we already know makes this such a special university,” Professor Dewar said.

“Coming first in the world for gender equality reflects a long-term commitment that has seen us recruit more first-generation female students, increase the number of women in senior roles (47.2 per cent in March 2020) and graduate more women.

“A large number of successful gender equity initiatives helped us to achieve the Athena Swan Bronze Institutional Award from Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) last year, and this commitment will continue over the coming months and years.”

La Trobe’s second-placed ranking in the world for good health and well-being (SDG3) reflects the University’s high impact health and well-being research, the number of students who graduate as health professionals and the University’s strong collaborations with health services.

“We are rightly proud to have achieved so well in the area of health and wellbeing,” La Trobe’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement), Professor Susan Dodds said.

“Now more than ever, health is at the top of the global health agenda, and we have worked hard to build strong partnerships with health services, scientists, consumers and other world-leading universities. From our world-leading Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre to our Academic Research Collaborative in Health which unites the expertise, personnel and resources of more than 40 hospitals and healthcare providers across Australia, we have been able to achieve advances in research that improve people’s lives.”

La Trobe placed in the top 20 for six SDGs, in the top 50 for seven goals and in the top 100 for 10 goals, of the 11 SDG categories for which the University was assessed.

The University’s fourth place in the world was owing to consistently strong performance across the 11 SDG categories for which the University was assessed.

  • La Trobe placed 13th for Decent Work and Economic Growth, a category which included assessment of the proportion of students taking work placements, as well as research on economic growth and employment.
  • La Trobe placed 17th for Reduced Inequalities, recognising the University’s commitment to educate students from developing countries; the number of students and staff with disabilities; measures against discrimination, and the number of first-generation students studying at the University.
  • La Trobe placed 17th for Partnership for the Goals, a category assessing commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG research; publication of SDG reports; education of the SDGs, and relationships supporting the goals. The La Trobe Business School is a UN "Champion", demonstrating leadership in educating for the SDGs and working in partnership with the UN and international business schools to champion the SDGs in their teaching, research and external engagement.
  • La Trobe was also ranked 17th for Life on Land, which assessed the University’s research, education and actions to support land ecosystems.

La Trobe ranked 25th for Life below Water; 56th for Affordable and Clean Energy; 72nd for Sustainable Cities and Communities; 98th for Quality Education, and placed in the 101-200 range for Climate Action.

About the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

The Times Higher Education Impact rankings, now in their second year, scored 766 higher education institutions in each of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More information and La Trobe University’s performance can be found on the THE website.

About the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, calling for action in a global partnership. The SDGs – to be achieved by 2030 – recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with improving health and education, reducing inequality, and encouraging economic growth, while also tackling climate change and working to preserve oceans and forests.