UiB falls in THE Impact Rankings

In the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, the University of Bergen (UiB) is ranked 201-300. Last year UiB was 85th in this ranking.

Bærekraftskonferansen i Bergen, februar 2021 i Universitetsaulsen i Bergen.
PRESSURE DROP: UiB suffers a setback in THE Impact Rankings 2021 compared to the first two years of this rasnking. The photo is from the SDG Conference Bergen in February 2021.
Paul S. Amundsen for the University of Bergen

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In 2021, the THE Impact Ranking takes place for the third time. The ranking measures university impact based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year more than 1,100 universities took part, compared to 800 in 2020 and 470 in the inaugural rankings in 2019. This year UiB ranks 201-300, compared to 85 last year and 53 in 2019.

“Of course, it’s disappointing to fall, but with THE changing its criteria this year, we are curious to know more about the basis and indicators for this year compared to previous years,” says Vice-Rector for Global Relations Annelin Eriksen.

Like last year, Eriksen is sceptical of these university rankings.

“This type of ranking must always be taken with a pinch of salt. Many in the university sector are critical,” she says before asking rhetorically: “What indicators are measured? How are they measured? These rankings give THE a lot of defining power, which is not necessarily a good thing for the university sector.”

The vice-rector highlights UiB’s critical engagement with the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, which has been ongoing since long before the first THE Impact Ranking in 2019. She points out that UiB sets its own agenda for this work regardless of the criteria THE choose.

“Our seven faculties engage broadly with the SDGs and the UiB leadership works with our scientists and educators to continuously strengthen the transformation of our education in line with the 2030 Agenda,” says Eriksen.

“We don’t do this work to increase our standing in rankings, but because it’s part of the university's work to engage with society at large and embedded in our strategy Knowledge that shapes society. The 2030 Agenda is also something many of our researchers and students are interested in and will engage in regardless and independently of any rankings.”

UiB congratules the University of Manchester on becoming number 1 in the rankings, displacing our WUN and UNAI partner the University of Auckland, who were top of the ranking in its first two years and are joint number 9 this year.

For the third year running, UiB is the only Norwegian institute to partake in this ranking.