American Univesity of Beirut

AUB among top universities in the world in delivering UN Sustainable Development Goals

​​​​​Safa Jafari Safa, Office of Communications,​​

AUB ranked 87th university in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings​ 2021, along with two other universities, out of 1,115 participating universities from 98 countries/regions. AUB shares the rank with Durham University and Texas State University and made a leap from the “201-300” ranking range in the last edition. This year’s overall score of 86.9 positions AUB first in Lebanon and third in the region after Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University (27th) and King Abdulaziz University (46th), both in Saudi Arabia.

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year brings the third edition of Impact Rankings and AUB has been ranked in all three.

“Once again AUB proved its relentless dedication to make a difference, always going the extra mile to bring about positive change to society," said Jean Abi Saab, senior research analyst at AUB's Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Decision Support (IEDS) who is the designated data gatherer and provider for AUB university rankings. “Notwithstanding the difficult times our country is going through, we were able to make evident the true standing of AUB as was reflected in the Impact World University Ranking."

Sustainability is one of the main pillars of AUB's long-term strategies and commitments. AUB's overall score reflects the university's achievement within THE's four impact pillars:

(1) Research in SDG related topics; (2) Stewardship in its use of physical and human resources through campus operations, auxiliary services, policies and processes; (3) Outreach to civil communities; and (4) Adoption of sustainability in AUB teaching curriculum. ​

AUB's annual sustainability report highlights work done by the university and plans for the future in: environment, energy efficiency, safety and well-being, waste and water resource management, social responsibility, sustainable transport, education and research, and sustainable development goals.

AUB was recognized among the best in the world for its partnership with its community to advance the UN's 17 SDGs locally and globally, ranking 4th in the SDG 17- Partnership for the goal.  AUB collaborates with government ministries towards SDG policy development, through its K2P Policy Dialogue, AUB Bei​rut Urban Lab, and the KIP project. It initiated and participated in many cross-sectoral dialogues through MSFEA City Debates, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) Open Dialogues and partnerships with other universities. Moreover, AUB developed best practices through the AUB Nature Conservation Center (NCC) which joined the European Commission Global Coalition for Biodiversity and through Asfari Institute policy papers and IFI) research reports. Other collaborations with NGOs were reflected through the AUB Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS), WEFRAH, Global Health Institute, and other programs. The commitment to meaningful education around the SDGs across the university was also reflected through the Pro-Green Diploma, Environmental Health course syllabi, and Mobile University for Health.

AUB also ranked 53rd worldwide in SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, 66th in SDG 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, and within the range of “101-200" in SDG16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institu​tions .​

“We are gradually seeing AUB on the world map for sustainability and the achievement of SDGs in a most challenging region," said Dr. Mirella Aoun, assistant research professor who, as WEF​RAH coordinator, promotes the implementation and monitoring of SDGs on campus. “The production of a regular AUB Sustainability Report in particular shows AUB's dedication to promoting SDGs on campus and beyond." Aoun, like Abi Saab, emphasized the value and importance of team work and collaboration in reporting staff, faculty, and community partner activities that correspond to THE calibrated indicators.

AUB is also a committed member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which promotes practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the UN SDGs, by mobilizing global scientific and technological expertise.

Over the last two years, ten AUB entities have contributed to research, reports, programs, and initiatives that tackle the world's challenges across all 17 SDGs: The IFI; Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship; Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences; Suliman S. Olayan School of Business; Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center and Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) at the Faculty of Health Sciences; Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture; AUBMC; Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management Sustainability Report initiative, the Neighborhood Initiative, and NCC and AUBotanic.


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