University of Coimbra is the most sustainable institution in the country

20 May, 2022

The UC is the 26th most sustainable higher education institution in the world, among almost 1500 evaluated, and number 1 in Portugal, for the third consecutive year. The data are from the fourth edition of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. In the 2022 edition, 1406 institutions participated.

The University of Coimbra (UC) was the institution with the best overall performance, in Portugal, in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, with a total score of 94.1 out of 100.

It was in the parameter related to “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructures” that the educational institution obtained its best classification – 99.9 out of 100 – being considered the fourth best university in the world in fulfilling this goal, which values the role of universities in promoting innovation and meeting the needs of industry.

The university spin-offs created since 2000, the capacity of the university to generate new research revenues from industry and commerce, the number of patents that refer to research conducted by the UC and the volume of research developed by the UC were the aspects that proved fundamental to achieve this result.

In last year’s edition, the University of Coimbra had already stood out in the fulfilment of this SDG, having reached the 13th position worldwide.

“It is with great satisfaction and sense of responsibility that we see the University of Coimbra being recognised, once again, as one of the most successful universities in the world in fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals,” states the Rector of the University of Coimbra, Amílcar Falcão. “This distinction, at a global level, for the work developed in the promotion of innovation and also by meeting the needs of industry, demonstrates the commitment of the UC to achieve a production of knowledge with high impact for society, with real contributions to meet societal challenges,” he adds.

In this edition of the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, with a score (94.1) higher than last year (92.7), the UC also stood out in the achievement of SDG 2 – “Eradicate hunger” – reaching the 12th position worldwide. The campaigns to combat food waste, the existence of the social menu (at affordable prices) in the canteens, the creation of research projects related to sustainable fishing or the volunteer initiative to deliver meals to students in isolation were some of the actions valued in this indicator.

Also in compliance with SDG16 – “Peace, Justice and Effective Institutions” – the University of Coimbra achieved an outstanding position at world level (36th position). Factors such as the institution’s financial support for the Academic Association of Coimbra, the existence of policies for the promotion of academic freedom, the existence of a management risk and corruption prevention plan, the active collaboration with local and national government bodies and the promotion of training actions for magistrates from Portuguese-speaking countries contributed to this position.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings aim to measure the overall success of higher education institutions in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. In total, the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings has 18 rankings: one ranking per SDG and one global ranking. These rankings analyse how research, teaching and management of institutions contribute to achieving the SDGs defined by the United Nations, constituting the only global instrument to assess these commitments.