The Fiji National University (FNU) has for the first time been ranked in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact rankings that measure an institution’s research, outreach, teaching and stewardship against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
FNU was one of 1,525 institutions across 110 countries/regions worldwide to participate in the impact rankings for 2022.
The Impact rankings measure how an institution’s research, stewardship, outreach and teaching deliver against the UN SDGs – a blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.
The 17 goals encompass strategies to improve health and education, improve inequality, and spur economic growth while tackling climate change and preserving our natural environment.
All institutions that enter the THE ranking must submit for SDG 17 on Partnerships for the Goals which explores how universities teach the next generation to adopt sustainability and the institution’s best three SDGs.
FNU opted for 3 additional SDGs as part of its 2022 submission, which were SDG 3 Good Health and Well-Being (ranked 301-400 out of 1,101 institutions), SDG 15 Life on Land (ranked 201-300 out of 521 institutions) and SDG 13 Climate Action (ranked 401-600 out of 674 institutions).
The University’s sustainability targets include:
Acting Vice-Chancellor Dr William May commended the efforts of the FNU Steering Group formed to strengthen the university’s submission to the Times Higher Education (THE) against the SDG goals.
“FNU achieved a rank of #801-1000. This is indeed a great achievement for the university given it is the first time we had entered the rankings,” said Dr May.
“To be honest, these outcomes are better than we anticipated.”
“This is an excellent start, and we can now benchmark ourselves against similar Universities from around the world who have been participating in the rankings for a number of years,” Dr May stated.
“The rankings have also highlighted the areas that we can continue to develop and grow to improve our overall rankings in future submissions to the THE.”
The FNU’s Strategic Plan 2021-2026 outlines the university’s deep commitment to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to developing cost-effective, scalable solutions aimed at sustainability, resilience and climate change adaptation, in support of the objectives outlined in Fiji’s Climate Change Bill.
FNU recognises the immediacy of the climate emergency, and the need for systemic change, which has placed environmental sustainability as an all-encompassing theme of its Strategic Plan 2021–2026.
“FNU recognises the adverse impacts of climate change experienced locally and globally. Our vulnerability to climate emergency is a wake-up call for all of us to commit to taking bold climate change mitigation and adaptive actions. Therefore, Fiji National University declares a climate emergency and is committed to creating a more inclusive and resilient economy by reducing carbon emissions to restore our natural and built environment and people. Declaring a climate emergency thus acknowledges the concerns of many who are worried about what the future holds for them,” said AVC May.
The latest rankings come hot on the heels of the Fijian Government’s announcement of the establishment of the Pacific Island Countries Climate Change Research Centre following a partnership between the Fiji National University and the Monash University from Australia.
FNU’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor Roland De Marco said the THE Impact Rankings will open new opportunities for partnerships that will strengthen the university’s commitment to the promotion of the UN SDGs in learning, teaching, research and engagement.
“This is wonderful news not only for FNU but for the wider community and the nation. As the national university, we are committed to making a real-world impact through our learning, teaching, research and engagement,” said Prof De Marco.
As part of the FNU’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan under Sphere 4 Global, the university will adopt a strategic approach to entering major international university rankings by 2030 by establishing select international teaching and research partnerships, aligned to national priority areas.
FNU will measure our success via the following deliverables: