NUI Galway Ranked in Top Ten Universities in the World for Impact on Aquatic Ecosystems

Apr 22 2020 Posted: 11:42 IST

Times Higher Education Rankings Recognise Contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals

The new Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings has placed NUI Galway 10th in the world for addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal for research on life below water and support for aquatic ecosystems. In the second edition of Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings, which was released today, NUI Galway has been ranked 68th in the world for addressing the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals overall.

The new rankings provide a measure of the extent to which universities are having a positive social and economic impact on the planet; from climate action and gender equality, to good health and wellbeing. It is the first university ranking to use this criteria, rather than traditional metrics, such as reputation and research prestige.

Speaking on the announcement of this year’s Impact Rankings, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “The sustainable development goals are arguably the most important targets for the world to meet, and it’s heartening to see Irish universities taking such a lead role in addressing them.  As we see recent research linking air pollution and COVID-19 outcomes, the need to create a better and more sustainable future for all has never been more urgent.  The current pandemic is highlighting healthcare inequalities globally, which we must work to address across all aspects of our research, from health sciences to the humanities. 

“At NUI Galway, sustainability is a key strategic priority, and we look forward to progressing our work to address these global challenges as part of our central mission to serve the public good in our words and deeds.” 

NUI Galway performed strongly in a number of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including:

  • SDG 14 Life Under Water

Measuring the University’s research on life below water and efforts at supporting, educating and sustaining aquatic ecosystems both locally and globally, NUI Galway were ranked in the Top 10 for education and actions to support aquatic ecosystems, both locally and globally.  

  • SDG 3: Good Heath & Wellbeing:

This measures the University’s research on key diseases and conditions, international collaborations with global health organisations and its support for healthcare professions and the health of students and staff.

  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy

This measures the University’s research related to efficient energy consumption, our own energy use and policies and our commitment to promoting energy efficiency in the wider community. NUI Galway was awarded Energy Team of the Year at last year’s Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland awards.  At 36% energy reduction, NUI Galway continues to work towards an ambitious target of a 40% energy reduction by 2020.

  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities:

This measures the university’s research on sustainability, our role as custodian of arts and heritage and our internal efforts on practicing and promoting sustainability. NUI Galway performed particularly well for its research and support for sustaining and promoting Arts and Heritage.

  • SDG 16 Peace Justice & Strong institutions:

Measuring the University’s research on Law, Human rights and international relations, and our participation as advisors and influencers of government policy, the University performed particularly well for its research and work with government and policy makers.

  • SDG 17: Partnership for Goals

This measures the broader ways in which the University supports the UN SDGs though collaboration with other countries, the promotion of best practices and the publication of data for informing research and decision making. The University has a long tradition of partnership regionally and globally on projects for the benefit of communities. 

Find out more about the Impact Rankings visit, or view the full methodology at A full list of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals can also be found on the United Nation’s website at


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