Michigan State University has been recognized for its significant progress toward meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Times Higher Education 2022 Impact Rankings recognized MSU as tied for No. 33 in the world out of more than 1,400 institutions and No. 2 in the country among participating universities.The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings honor the commitment universities around the world make in the communities they operate in, specifically looking at themes of poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
“In the MSU strategic plan — Empowering Excellence, Advancing Equity and Expanding Impact — we laid out our intention to achieve a top 100 Times Higher Education Impact ranking by 2030. Thanks to the breadth and depth of our research, community outreach and approach to educating future leaders, we’ve already made it,” said President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “It is a testament to the hard work and legacy of Amy Butler, our former director of sustainability, who passed away earlier this year.”
This ranking is the only global performance index that assesses universities against the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. While this is the fourth year for the ranking, it is just the second year MSU has participated.
In addition to the overall rankings, MSU is ranked globally in the top 35 in these key areas:
No. 6 globally and No. 1 in the U.S. for SDG 2, “Zero Hunger.”
Universities demonstrated efforts toward and were ranked upon how they are contributing to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
- MSU’s efforts include vermicomposting, Culinary Services’ Sustainable Food Procurement Guide, the Student Food Bank and MSU Extension agribusiness programming.
Universities demonstrated efforts toward and were ranked upon how they act as custodians of arts and heritage in their communities, as well as an institution’s policies and practices in support of sustainable transportation, buildings and land use.
- MSU’s efforts include the Campus Archaeology Program, Bicycle Friendly University gold designation, W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and the first building in the state to be made with mass timber.
Universities demonstrated efforts toward and were ranked upon collaboration with other countries, between institutions, with government and nongovernmental organizations and people, as well as the promotion of best practices in support of the SDGs.
- MSU’s efforts include the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, Food Security Group and Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability.
Universities demonstrated efforts toward and were ranked upon how they are contributing to sustainably managed forests, combating desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, and halting biodiversity loss.
- MSU’s efforts include designated Campus Natural Areas, a Tree Management Plan that includes a one-for-one Tree Replacement Policy and the MSU Extension Conservation Stewards Program.
Universities demonstrated efforts toward and were ranked upon how their role as an employer and economic hub to reduce poverty in their communities and increase access to higher education for students from low-income households.
- MSU’s efforts include Spartan Advantage, Upward Bound and food-insecurity programing through MSU Extension.
Times Higher Education assesses data submitted by universities related to the SDGs. The organization then carefully calibrates indicators to provide comprehensive and balanced comparisons across four broad areas: research, outreach, stewardship and teaching. An explanation of the full methodology for the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022 is available on its website.