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Sunway University ranked Malaysia’s top private university in the global Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021


For the first time Sunway University entered the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021 which measures universities’ commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and officially became the highest ranked private university in Malaysia, according to the THE Impact Rankings 2021. 

In addition to this exceptional introduction to the Times Higher World rankings, Sunway University is now officially credited to be within the Top 200 for SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, once again making it one of the world's leading institutions in this most noble and topical of categories which reflects dedication to creating career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies.

The SDG 11 highlights Sunway University as a state-of-the-art modern campus that is connected to a wide range of social and community amenities by safe walkways at treetop level (the “canopy walk”) giving a unique sustainable study, work and social environment for our students and staff within and around the campus. Sunway City is a prime example of the new global movement of sustainable “fifteen-minute cities” with hyper-connectivity and all amenities accessible within 15 minutes by walking.

Realising the need for health and safety, Sunway University strives to focus on pedestrian priority on campus with covered walkways that run between buildings and provide students and staff convenient access to all facilities within the campus. The University was also one of just two universities that won a National Energy Award last year in recognition of its efforts on energy efficiency. 

Professor Graeme Wilkinson, the Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University said, “We are delighted now to be recognized as one of the world’s leading institutions for sustainability. We are a signatory institution to the SDG Accord and absolutely committed to aligning our educational and research efforts with the SDGs and this ranking demonstrates that our efforts are yielding results. We know that our students are very concerned about the future of the planet and sustainability issues, and we take very seriously our responsibility to educate them on these issues and to undertake research on policies and technologies that can make an impact in relation to the SDGs.”

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations’ SDGs. They use carefully calibrated indicators to provide comprehensive and balanced comparison across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching.

The Impact Rankings was first launched by Times Higher Education in 2019 and now has almost triple the number of international premiere universities participating from nearly 100 countries/regions across the world, sharing invaluable data and presenting insights into the growing commitment to address global challenges and societal impacts.

Stefan Priesner, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam congratulated Sunway University, “The education sector is a key driver in the whole-of-nation approach towards achieving the SDGs and I congratulate Sunway University for the well-deserved recognition by Times Higher Education. Academia has a crucial role to play in nurturing future SDG champions and developing thought leadership for a more sustainable world. As an organisation, universities can also contribute by walking the talk and being SDG compliant in their business operations as demonstrated by Sunway.”

Sunway University is dedicated to championing sustainability efforts within and around the campus by instilling sustainable practices into the various aspects of the university experience such as ensuring high standards in sustainability research, sustainable work practices and sustainable consumption. Its ‘Last Straw’ campaign to reduce single use plastic on campus was a major success and helped launch the #CampusWithAConscience, a theme very much close to heart of all Sunwayians.

In recognition of Sunway’s embrace of the sustainability agenda and commitment to advancing the SDGs in Asia, Sunway University recently joined New York City and Paris as the three United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) centres in the world to coordinate continent-wide sustainability initiatives in Asia, the Americas and Europe/Africa, respectively.