USF Leads the Way in Sustainable Impact Among Florida Universities

Ranking 73rd among universities worldwide and fifth best in the United States, USF is the highest-ranking Florida university on the 2019 impact rankings.

Times Higher Education (THE) measures universities in a number of ways. In 2018, the University of South Florida ranked high on its list of Best Golden Age universities. Now, the university is back in THE’s accolades.

THE conducted its first ever “University Impact Rankings,” an examination of how well universities are delivering on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Ranking 73rd among universities around the world and fifth best in the United States, USF is the highest-ranking Florida university on the 2019 impact rankings.

USF was recognized for its performance in four sustainable development goal categories:

  • Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Good health and well-being for people
  • Reduce inequalities
  • Partnerships for sustainable development goals

According to THE, the “Good Health and Wellbeing” category examines the university’s research efforts on key diseases and conditions as well as how it supports healthcare professions and the health of students and staff (USF ranks third in the U.S.).

“Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure” focuses on the university’s research on industry and innovation, number of patents generated, spin-off companies and its income from industry research (USF ranks second in the U.S.).

“Reducing Inequalities” analyzes “universities’ research on social inequalities, their policies on discrimination and their commitment to recruiting staff and students from under-represented groups (USF ranks fifth in the U.S.),” according to THE’s website.

The 2019 ranking is the first of its kind and examined 11 of 17 sustainable development goal categories. The other seven include climate action, responsible consumption and production, gender equality, quality education, decent work and economic growth, sustainable cities and communities, and peace, justice and strong institutions.

THE’s ranking is the only global performance assessment on the sustainable development goals.

“The inaugural Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are a significant step in recognizing the positive social and economic impact of universities,” said USF provost and executive vice president Ralph Wilcox said in a statement. “As a global research university dedicated to student success, I am immensely proud to see USF rank among the top in the world, particularly in the categories of reduced inequalities, good health and wellbeing, and industry, innovation and infrastructure which so closely align with our mission.”


Universities submitted data on the 11 areas for analysis by THE. Each sustainable development goal is measured by a series of metrics. The rankings are created by the combining scores in the partnerships for goals category with the top three scores a university possesses in the remaining 10 categories.

Scores are based on a 100-point scale. USF’s overall score was 78.9.

According to THE, Japan is the most heavily represented country in the rankings with 41 institutions. The U.S. is second with 31.

For a complete list of scores and to see learn more about the methodology, visit THE’s website.

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