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UC ranked in top 100 for global sustainability

12 December 2023

Now in its second year, the QS Sustainability Ranking uses data to measure social, environmental and governance metrics to assess 1,403 universities worldwide.


In addition to its overall ranking of 86, UC placed in the top ten worldwide for environmental education, a result made possible thanks to an increasing number of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees with a strong sustainability focus.

Professor Jan Evans-Freeman was appointed Amorangi Toitū | Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sustainability in 2021, which at that time was the most senior sustainability appointment from an Aotearoa New Zealand university, a role developed to support the delivery of environmental sustainability goals outlined in UC’s Strategic Vision 2020-2030.

“We are preparing our students to help solve the challenges of a future world that is likely to be more uncertain, in particular with respect to climate change and available resources,” Professor Evans-Freeman says.

“UC excels in sustainability-related qualifications, including the Bachelor of Social and Environmental Sustainability, which prepares students to make a difference in the world around them by leading a fair and sustainable transition in an age of rapid and far-reaching social and ecological change.”

The rankings also spotlight the University’s achievements through research-led teaching, as seen in the recent announcement of UC academics Professor Elizabeth MacPherson, Dr Tom Logan and Dr Amy Yewdall, receiving 2023 Rutherford Discovery Fellowships from the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

The three are carrying out research aimed at finding solutions to climate change challenges, including exploring “blue carbon”, harnessing the power of enzymes for carbon capture, and helping cities prepare and adapt for an uncertain future.

QS have also awarded the University 5 stars in its QS Stars rating system, scoring 98% in the Environmental Impact metric, a result that included full points in both Research and Education.

It takes a [global] village to tackle the solutions to our climate crises and UC academics are passionate about international collaboration through events like COP28, the global climate change conference, as we work toward this shared goal.

“COP28 is a great opportunity for UC to contribute to the global research and discussions on climate change and also showcase our interdisciplinary approaches and skills on issues of significance to our region and planet,” explained Distinguished Professor Steven Ratuva, who spoke at the Dubai event.

The annual University of Canterbury Sustainability Report detailed how the University excels in sustainability-related qualifications and plans are in progress to raise awareness of the SDGs in all UC qualifications.

QS Rankings

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