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Oklahoma State University ranks 63rd globally in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings.

OSU climbs to No. 4 in the US for UN Sustainable Development Goals

Monday, July 11, 2022

Media Contact: Kelli Norton | Communications Specialist | 405-744-5496 |

*This article is a reposting due to the Times Higher Education committee needing to clean the data resulting in a change in rank. The information in this news release contains the corrected data issued by the Times Higher Education on June 15.

Oklahoma State University continues to meet and exceed its goals to be a global leader in addressing sustainable development.

OSU is driven to make its campus better for not only current students but those to come by eliminating hunger on campus, providing clean water and more. OSU has earned 91.1 out of 100 points on the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking placing it at No. 4 in the U.S. and No. 63 out of 1,410 international universities.

In a year, OSU rose from No. 85 internationally and No. 8 in the U.S to No. 63 internationally and No. 4 in the U.S. Globally, OSU ranked in the top 5 in zero hunger and top 100 in clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities and partnerships for the goals. Domestically, OSU ranked first in zero hunger; top 5 in clean water and sanitation and partnerships for goal; and top 10 in sustainable cities and communities.

“The Global Impact ranking by Times Higher Education is the first effort to really understand what universities do to make our world more livable and sustainable,” said Dr. Randy Kluver, associate provost and dean of the School of Global Studies and Partnerships.  “We at OSU are very grateful that this ranking highlights the exceptional contribution made by our faculty, students and staff to sustainability.”

SGSP led the data submission process by collecting and organizing the data sent by 46 individuals from 32 units and departments across the campus. The following are highlights from the ranking:

SDG 2 Zero Hunger

OSU ranked No. 5 globally and first in the U.S on SDG 2. Earning a high ranking in SDG 2 highlights OSUs’ initiative to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture in their local and global communities through research, teaching and campus operation efforts

As a land-grant university with a rich history in agriculture, OSU is driven to end hunger globally and locally through education, research and outreach initiatives. OSU has propelled itself as a leader in the field by exploring sustainable agriculture through economic viability and natural resource management. This year, the new Pete’s Pantry on-campus food and resource center opened in the Student Union, allowing students in need to access fresh food and hygiene supplies.   

SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation

OSU ranked No. 40 globally and fourth in the U.S. on SDG 6, which assesses universities’ ability to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. As an EPA Energy Star Partner, OSU uses Energy Star resources to reduce energy and water waste within its community. In addition, OSU’s Water Resources Center is one of 54 centers nationally that focuses on sustainable water supplies and achieving high-level water quality. OSU ensures the availability of clean water internationally through the OSU chapter of Engineers Without Boards, which has been building a point-of-use water treatment system in Guatemala since 2015.

SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

OSU ranked No. 69 globally and eighth in the U.S. on SDG 11, which challenges universities to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. SDG 11 highlights the university’s strategies for decreasing its environmental footprint and its ability to preserve the local culture. OSU plays an essential role in maintaining the culture in Oklahoma through academics and campus events.

SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goal

OSU ranked No. 36 globally, improving from 2021 when OSU ranked 86th globally and second in the U.S. on SDG 17.

SDG 17 inspires universities to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. As a public research institution, OSU works closely with private and public sectors, NGOs and international partners to foster and share best practices regarding addressing global challenges.

The School of Global Studies and Partnerships (SGSP) continues to strive to develop partnerships that will improve the quality of life for both local and global communities. Beginning in 2020, SGSP officially adopted the UN Sustainable Development Goals as the framework for OSU’s global engagement and has been actively engaging different organizations to promote awareness of the SDGs ever since.

In April 2022, SGSP partnered with the sustainability office, SGA Sustainability Committee and the academic colleges across the campus to create a series of events — that were held on campus and online — to raise SDGs awareness through local and global dialogues and make a call for more actions among our students, faculty and staff.

The Edmon Low Library is currently working to provide a database of sustainable publications that the OSU community can access.

“The SDGs deal with complex global issues that demand the effective communication of research and the ability to make connections across many fields of expertise,” said Matt Upton, associate dean of Research and Learning Services. “The library is working to better enable our faculty, staff, and students to make these connections, whether to openly accessible publications and data related to the SDGs, or to other experts across disciplines and institutions. We’re in a position to help our researchers highlight their own work through systems such as Experts Directory, find potential partners across the world, and even analyze the broader scholarly and societal impact that their work has. We want to help solve these problems by connecting people and information.”

The Cowboy community has answered the call for sustainable practices by partnering with different organizations on campus.

“Other initiatives taking place on the university level include a pilot study of SDGs course mapping to the geosciences field, a campus working group to reinforce our joint efforts on campus and the development of a sustainability plan developed by the sustainability office,” said Dr. Vivian Wang, director of global partnerships at SGSP.

Continual growth is always on the horizon for OSU. Climbing from No. 8 to No. 4 was a significant accomplishment, yet the global challenges remain pressing; those challenges are transnational in nature and require our collaborative actions for a better future.

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