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VU Amsterdam second university worldwide to combat climate change

22 April 2020
VU Amsterdam ranks second in the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking 2020 when it comes to taking action against climate change. The ranking evaluates the contribution of 766 universities worldwide to the 17 sustainable goals or "sustainable development goals". Based on the total evaluation, VU ranks 39th in the Impact Ranking.

Science for sustainability
The high score on 'Climate Action' is due to the university's attention to the theme of Science for Sustainability. With this theme, VU Amsterdam creates conditions under which people, the environment and the economy come into balance without exhausting the earth. This is done by linking fundamental scientific knowledge with knowledge about implementing sustainable changes in society. 

Science for Sustainability is the theme in which several faculties and parts of VU Amsterdam are involved. The focus is on the entire chain of fundamental and applied research, and its applications in practice. With the knowledge that results from this, VU Amsterdam enables its students to contribute to a better world and prepares students for a sustainable career. 

Times Higher Education Impact Ranking
The THE impact ranking was released for the third year in a row and is entirely based on the structure of, and data on, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG's). For the evaluation of the 766 participating universities, a score is calculated for each university based on four SDGs: the three SDGs on which the university scores highest, supplemented with the score for SDG 17 partnership to achieve goals. The three SDGs on which VU Amsterdamscores highest are:

  • SDG 13 Climate Action, in a special 2nd place worldwide,
  • SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and infrastructure, in a 32nd place
  • SDG 16 Gender Equality, in a 37th place.

The striking thing about the result of the 39th overall position in this THE Impact ranking is that the characteristic VU profile emerges in the results. In research and education, VU Amsterdam pays special attention to the social connection of the university and the ambitions related to diversity and sustainability.