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Ranking

SDU is among the leading sustainable universities

The internationally recognised magazine Times Higher Education ranks SDU 23rd among 1,115 universities from around the world. The ranking is based on the universities’ sustainability activities and efforts.

By Nicolai Lynge Clausen, , 4/21/2021

SDU’s sustainability efforts are world-leading. This was established in a recently published ranking list by the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Impact Rankings.

Based on the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it compares the efforts of 1,115 universities in terms of everything from research to ensuring clean bathing and drinking water to reducing food waste from the canteen.

In the latest rankings, the University of Southern Denmark’s sustainability efforts have been assessed to be at a high international level – which ranks SDU no. 23 among the universities.

Research excellence

The Impact Rankings consider the universities’ core tasks within each SDG by assessing research, education and operations. In general, SDU’s research ranks highly for all of the SDGs.

The result is met with delight by Flemming Bridal Rasmussen, Head of SDU's SDG HUB, which is actively working to make SDU more sustainable.

According to him, the reason why SDU is doing so well is that the University has enjoyed an excellent starting point in the form of research environments that have worked on topics for a number of years – e.g. sustainable tourism, life cycle engineering, global health, aquatic and marine environment etc.

When the Board made the decision to work with the SDGs, we had an excellent starting point at SDU, which has since only gotten even better with the joint investments in sustainability initiatives.

Flemming Bridal Rasmussen, Head of SDU's SDG HUB

- When the Board made the decision to work with the SDGs, we had an excellent starting point at SDU, which has since only gotten even better with the joint investments in sustainability initiatives and a growing interest in working with sustainability in our research, education programmes and operations.

Equal access and terms

SDU ranks at the top on several parameters, e.g. SDG 10, which is about reducing inequality.

Here, SDU ranks 6th in terms of taking measures to help underrepresented groups in the university world. The measures include both admission, access facilities, targeted support and working conditions , which helps students and staff groups.

Underwater ecosystems

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings also confirm that SDU makes a big difference to sustainability through research and education, which, among other things, is seen in SDG 14, Life below water.

With its no. 23 spot, it has been assessed that SDU contributes greatly to preserving and improving the underwater ecosystems, especially through research, but also through education and concrete efforts.

This work is done in collaboration with the local community, the authorities and other essential actors.

Learn more about the international rankings


In the next few months, the rankings will be evaluated with a view to selecting focus areas where even more sustainability efforts and activities can be carried out.

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Editing was completed: 21.04.2021