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University of East London is leading the advance towards United Nations' equality targets

Top ranking university in UK for tackling inequality

The University of East London is on the frontline of a global quest to ensure higher education makes a positive impact on society, according to new figures.

In rankings released by Times Higher Education, the University was second in a field of 760 worldwide in its drive to reduce inequality ­– ranking top in the UK.

It was also second in the UK in two other categories entered, gender equality and quality education, ranking 8th and 57th in the world in these categories respectively.

Institutions in the THE’s Impact Ranking were assessed against challenges set by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - global challenges laid down in 2015 with the aim of ensuring peace and prosperity and leaving nobody behind. Overall, the University came in the top 200 globally.

The ranking is primarily based on institutional submissions to national and international datasets, measuring University impact in terms of teaching, research, outreach and institutional stewardship in relation to each of the SDGs. For example, the University’s record in recruiting students who are the first in their families and those on low income to take up higher education. Other criteria included efforts to encourage women to participate in subjects with low female representation, recruiting and promoting women and individuals from BAME backgrounds and providing mentoring support.

Professor Amanda Broderick, vice-chancellor and president, said, “We are pleased and proud that our work in driving equality has been recognised in this league table.

“Our Vision 2028 outlines our aspirations as pioneers of future careers and sustainable innovation for a changing world. It is no coincidence that this chimes with the SDGs because we recognise we have a unique responsibility in our local community that has traditionally seen inequality and deprivation.

“So, it’s especially pleasing that our efforts have been assessed and ranked so highly. It is confirmation of our significant progress and strengthens our commitment to push further.”

In 2019, the University founded its Office for Institutional Equity (OIE), a pioneering initiative in UK higher education aimed at addressing gender, racial and other inequalities.

Professor Marcia Wilson, dean of the Office for Institutional Equity (OIE), said, “The ambition to create a truly equal education and sustainable education culture is one that we hold dear.

“The OIE has specific responsibility for addressing inequalities by creating sustainable academic, employment and cultural changes which will positively impact the University community.

“No-one underestimates the scale of the challenge and the amount of work still to be done. Set against this immense task, these results are an extremely rewarding indication that we are pursuing the right path.”