American University of Beirut

AUB is 1st in the MENA region and among the top 140 in the world in the QS WUR for sustainability

Sally Abou Melhem, Office of Communications,​

The American University of Beirut was ranked 1st in the MENA region in sustainability and tied with Princeton University at the 140th place globally in the QS World University Rankings (WUR): Sustainability 2023.

In its first edition, the QS Sustainability Rankings were announced by the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) university ranking agency. The rankings looked at 700 of the world's top universities that were deemed eligible and compared them against environmental and social sustainability metrics, to see which universities are doing the most to tackle major environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges. The American University of Beirut was the only university in Lebanon to be ranked and number one in the MENA Region.

The ranking was designed to reflect performance across all the 16 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), classified into two categories—Environmental Impact and Social Impact—with a clear focus on outward impact.

The American University of Beirut tied for #117 in the Environmental Impact category and for #230 in the Social Impact category. While its strongest performance lenses (the indicators making up the categories) came under the Environmental Impact category: the Sustainable Education lens (tied for #19) and the Sustainable Institutions lens (#53).​

The high score that the American University of Beirut achieved in sustainable education, particularly in environmental sciences and development studies, was due to the fact that it promotes a sustainable environment through teaching and research while disseminating public policies and acting on social justice.

In addition to considering the impact of institutions from an environmental, social, and governance perspective, and from the research done on SDGs, the QS methodology includes institutional, survey, evidence, and country-level indicators. Other indicators include the identification of alumni that have gone on to make an impact in tackling environmental and social challenges, the presence of publicly-available policies that support social and environmental initiatives, and the measure of academic freedom. In addition, knowledge exchange progress of institutions in less-developed nations to model against established research partners was taken into consideration.

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