University submits evidence to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

Posted on: 21 November 2023 in Issue 7

The Sustainability Department recently completed the University’s annual submission to the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, a global league table which measures universities progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Participation in the overall THE Impact Rankings requires universities to submit data to at least four Sustainable Development Goals, one of which must be SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals. The overall score is generated from the score for SDG 17 (worth up to 22% of the overall score), plus the three strongest of the other SDGs for which they provided data (each worth up to 26% of the overall score). The scores for each SDG are based on a series of metrics. Each metric is themed and may be composed of individual indicators.

In 2022 the Sustainability Department submitted evidence against all 17 UN SDGs, achieving an overall score of 89.5% and placing the University 79th out of 1,591 institutions globally in the 2023 Impact Rankings. Although we secured a top 100 position and improved on the previous years’ ranking, for the 2024 submission we focused on the importance of meaningful and impactful contributions to sustainable development, and prioritised the depth and effectiveness of our efforts in addressing the SDGs by submitting evidence for nine Goals:

  • SDG1: No Poverty
  • SDG2: Zero Hunger
  • SDG4: Quality Education
  • SDG10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG13: Climate Action
  • SDG15: Life On Land
  • SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG17: Partnerships for the Goals.

Submission process

The THE Impact Rankings submission process involves collating evidence related to the University’s activities and initiatives aligned with our chosen SDGs that supports the methodology. The data collection process takes place between September and November and involves members of the Sustainability Department compiling data and evidence on various indicators related to performance in areas such as research, outreach, and stewardship of resources. The data includes information on teaching and learning practices, case studies from research projects, community engagement initiatives, and sustainability efforts on campus. The evidence may include reports, case studies, and documentation of projects and initiatives which support our commitments to the SDGs and showcases our achievements.

For policies and initiatives, credit is given for the evidence, and for the evidence being public. Continuous metrics are also required which measure contributions to impact, for example, the number of graduates within a health-related degree. We are also required to report on university expenditure, energy used across campus, and the proportion of students receiving financial aid, amongst many other metrics. Quantifiable figures and data are provided, and verified by Strategic Planning, Student Finance, and the Energy team. The data is then reviewed by members of the Senior Leadership Team and submitted to the THE data collection portal.

Ranking publication

The Impact Rankings data collection portal closed on 10 November 2023, and our submission will now be evaluated by THE and ranked against other participating universities. The results will be published in June 2024, and we are excited to see how the University’s commitment to sustainability, social responsibility, and impactful research is acknowledged on the global stage.

Next steps

In line with strategic priorities set out in Liverpool 2031, and in the upcoming Sustainability Strategy refresh, a strategic project is currently in progress which aims to enable Academic staff to be able to tag their publications and research against the SDGs. This will help the University to demonstrate alignment with the SDGs and to demonstrate impact. 

Find out more

If you would like to recommend case studies which support any of the SDGs for inclusion in the 2025 THE Impact Rankings, please complete our online submission form or contact

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings have been developed to showcase the powerful work of universities across their communities and the wider world, demonstrating the vital role of universities in helping achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Find out more in the video below.