- Yonsei Ranks 1st in Korea, 47th Globally in World University Impact Rankings April 23, 2020
Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2020 recognizes universities’ positive social and economic impact
Yonsei University has been named as one of the world’s leading universities to make a positive impact on society, placing first in South Korea, fourth in Asia, and 47th globally in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2020 released on April 22, 2020.
First launched in 2019, the THE Impact Rankings assess higher education institutions’ success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across research, outreach, and stewardship. A blueprint to achieve a better future for humankind by 2030, the SDGs are comprised of 17 goals that protect the environment while addressing inequality of the global community through sustainable development, including targets such as poverty, climate change, health, education, and employment.
The THE Impact Rankings, the first and only rankings of its kind, is calculated on a university’s three highest-scaled SDG performance scores. Yonsei University’s highest SDG global ranking was third in SDG 9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure,” which selects universities that foster social innovation by achieving outstanding performance in research, patents, and university spin-offs. The university also ranked fifth in the world for SDG 8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth,” which focuses on universities’ role in promoting sustainable economic growth and contributions to increasing the number of quality jobs.
< Yonsei’s Performance: Overall and by SDG >
SDG9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG17. Partnerships for the Goals
SDG3. Good Health and Well-being
This achievement followed Yonsei’s performance in the inaugural rankings in 2019 when the university placed first in the world in SDG9 “Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.” The consecutive rankings reflect Yonsei’s continuous efforts to work collaboratively and innovatively on real-world issues and the positive impact it creates on the domestic and international community.
To centralize and further develop social impact activities with professional expertise, Yonsei launched the Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) in 2017 with former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as its honorary chairman as the first institution of its kind among Korean universities. Since then, IGEE has held the annual Global Sustainable Development Forum (GEEF), playing an influential role in helping governments, international organizations, industry leaders, and experts from around the world gather to address various issues faced by the world.
Yonsei University is making significant contributions to sharing knowledge and leading research initiatives amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic currently impacting the global community. In partnership with international organizations, including as the World Bank Group, Yonsei has launched a webinar series for Latin American, ASEAN, and Middle Eastern countries to share South Korea’s experience and model practices in the health care sector in combating COVID-19. Yonsei professor Baik Lin Seong of the Department of Biotechnology was appointed to become the first head of a 215 billion (174 million USD) government-initiated R&D project to develop domestic vaccines for new infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and preventative vaccines for major infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
Yonsei University is also spearheading efforts to educate next-generation leaders with a communal spirit, led by its Institute for Higher Education Innovation (IHEI). In 2019, over 4,800 Yonsei students took at least one of the 160 social innovation competency courses provided by the university, and 163 student extracurricular teams identified and addressed social issues with innovative ideas. The team projects covered a wide range of topics and fields. Students created jobs to address the decreasing population issue in Niue, a small island country in the South Pacific, recycled cigarette butts on campus, and launched an educational research project to educate teenagers as social innovators. IHEI continues to actively encourage students’ social impact activities with its Yonsei Social Innovator Certificate program.
Located in the heart of Seoul, Korea, Yonsei University has been exploring solutions to problems faced by various members of the local community in collaboration with the three northwestern districts (Seodaemun-gu, Mapo-gu, and Eunpyeong-gu) surrounding its main Sinchon campus. Students and faculty at the College of Engineering are developing a university-community cooperation model as they engage in solving pending issues of the community. Projects included creating a barrier-free map to promote active mobility for the differently-abled in wheelchairs, presenting development plans for smart housing estates, and revamping waste disposal methods.