AKU ranked in world’s top 100 list for role in SDGs

The Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Aga Khan University (AKU) has been ranked in the world’s top 100 universities for addressing environmental sustainability, social inclusion, economic growth, and partnerships.

The Times Higher Education 2024 Impact Ranking has placed AKU at an impressive 55, ahead of 1,498 other learning institutions worldwide, for its overall contribution to “good health and well-being” under the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number three.

Times Higher Education’s annual analysis recognises the contributions of higher education institutions worldwide, covering all 13 SDGs.

The university scored highly in three categories, including research, the number of students graduating in health-related fields, and collaboration with health services. AKU researchers publish extensively on various SDGs, focusing on SDG 3 (good health and well-being).

“These leading universities are recognised for their overarching impact across multiple dimensions of sustainable development, making significant contributions to creating a sustainable and resilient future. Their broad-based excellence underscores the importance of holistic approaches to global challenges and highlights the critical role of academia in driving sustainable change,” said Times Higher Education.

According to AKU’s bibliometric analysis, SDG 3 received the most attention from faculty, with more than 2,500 publications between 2017 and 2023.

“The global relevance of AKU scholarship is further demonstrated by the fact that nearly 80 percent of faculty publications in 2022 were aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“If we examine the past, we see that research at AKU has grown rapidly in volume, quality, diversity, recognition, impact, and reach. If we examine the present, it is clear that the university’s research capacity is impressive,” said Dr Salim Virani, AKU vice provost.

AKU's ranking in SDG 3 mirrors the 2022 ranking, demonstrating the university's commitment to excellence, quality, and healthcare, which is now recognised globally.

Other prominent academic contributions include SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 10 (Reducing Inequalities).

The Sustainable Development Goals have been integrated across the institution through the inclusion of optional teaching modules, such as the SDG courses offered by the Institute for Global Health and Development and the Institute for Educational Development, and the inclusion of the SDGs in the postgraduate curriculum of the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

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