News & Event

USRN Webinar: The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

On 6 October 2020 (2:00pm BTS), the University Social Responsibility Network (USRN) organised a webinar on the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for its member institutions. Mr Duncan Ross, Chief Data Officer of Times Higher Education and Dr Julian Skyrme, Director of Social Responsibility of The University of Manchester were invited as speakers. The Webinar was moderated by Prof. Valmor Tricoli, President of International Affairs Office and Provost for International Cooperation of University of São Paulo.

Using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as framework, Times Higher Education (THE) developed this new set of social impact rankings for higher education for a more sustainable and resilient future. The University Social Responsibility Network sees the significant role of the Impact Rankings in recognizing universities’ social responsibility performance, and has therefore taken the lead in organising a Webinar with THE, hoping to promote the Rankings and its methodology to member institutions of the USRN and advocate university social responsibility in a broad range of higher education institutions.

At the Webinar, a consultative briefing was given by Mr Duncan Ross to explore the purpose, methodology and data of the Impact Rankings, followed by a presentation from Dr Julian Skyrme who shared the case account of the University of Manchester’s work and its participation in this THE initiative. The University of Manchester is a member of the USRN. The university has been ranked as the top higher education institution in the UK in the 2020 Impact Rankings. More than 30 participants from 11 member institutions of the USRN joint the webinar to discuss the future development of the Rankings and provide recommendations to THE on improving the ranking methodology.

The USRN is impressed with the effort THE has made to incorporate social impact into rankings. It is hoped that with this new rankings that looked directly at how higher education worked in society, positive behavioral changes will be induced in higher education to make the world a more inclusive, peaceful and sustainable place for all.