Aix-Marseille University: 20th worldwide in THE University Impact ranking

Logo THE Impact ranking

Aix-Marseille University gains 23 places in the international Times Higher Education University Impact ranking.

The international Times Higher Education University Impact ranking is the only ranking that assesses universities against the 17 sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations. Its aim: to measure the impact of universities on society beyond their performance in research and teaching.

For its second edition, THE University Impact ranks 766 universities. Aix-Marseille University is proud to announce that it has gained 23 places this year, ranking 20th in the world and 1st in France, all the more so as the number of universities evaluated has almost doubled compared to last year.

A very fine performance, therefore, which illustrates Aix-Marseille University's ambitious proactive policy in terms of sustainable development and CSR (gender equality, integration of disabilities, quality of life and work).

Aix-Marseille University ranks among the 17 Sustainable Development objectives:

THE Impact Rankings 2020
20 out of 766 institutions
1: NO POVERTY 6 out of 372 institutions
2: ZERO HUNGER 63 out of 290 institutions
3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELLBEING 101-200 out of 620 institutions
4: QUALITY EDUCATION =80 out of 676 institutions
5: GENDER EQUALITY =97 out of 547 institutions
6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION 6 out of 330 institutions
7: AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY 12 out of 361 institutions
8: DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH =17 out of 479 institutions
9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE =92 out of 494 institutions
10: REDUCED INEQUALITIES 101-200 out of 458 institutions
11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES =37 out of 470 institutions
12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION 101-200 out of 360 institutions
13: CLIMATE ACTION 71 out of 376 institutions
14: LIFE BELOW WATER 24 out of 242 institutions
15: LIFE ON LAND =43 out of 268 institutions
16: PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS 101-200 out of 453 institutions
17: PARTNERSHIP FOR THE GOALS =6 out of 806 institutions


This performance is the result of the cross-fertilization of many sustainable development, gender equality and other actions carried out on the 17 SD objectives. It is also achieved thanks to the communication made on these actions. We were thus able to transmit to the THE ranking many elements allowing our evaluation, the ranking requiring more qualitative "evidence" and concrete actions than numerical data for each question asked.

Methodically, universities can submit data on as many SD objectives as they wish. Each objective has a set of measures used to assess the university's performance in this GDS.
The university's final score is calculated by combining its score on goal number 17 ("partnership for the goals") with its three best scores on the other 9 criteria.
Objective 17 accounts for 22% of the overall score, while the others each have a weighting of 26%. This means that different universities are scored on the basis of a different set of goals depending on their orientation.

There are three categories of metrics within each SD Goal (SDO):

  1. Research Indicators: These are derived from data provided by Elsevier. For each ODD, a specific query has been created. As in the world ranking of universities, we use a period of five years between 2014 and 2018. The metrics chosen for bibliometrics differ for ODD and there are always at least two bibliometric measures used.
  2. Ongoing metrics measure contributions to impact that are continually changing - for example, the number of health graduates. These are generally standardized to the size of the university.
  3. Evidence: When we ask about policies and initiatives - for example, the existence of mentoring programs - our indicators require universities to provide evidence to support their claims. These metrics are generally not standardized in size. Evidence is assessed against a set of criteria. The evidence need not be exhaustive - we look for examples that illustrate best practices at the institutions involved.