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Lund University ranks in top 10 in global sustainability ranking

Four students biking and laughing with a tram in the background. Photo: Johan Persson.

Lund University has been rated number 8 in the world out of 1,403 universities assessed in the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability, which ranks sustainable development at higher education institutions around the globe. This places the University third-best in Europe and highest in Sweden.

The QS World University Rankings: Sustainability is a framework for showing how universities are tackling the global challenges within sustainability. This is the second year the rankings have been produced, and LU has risen four places compared with last year’s position, number 12. 

“It is extremely pleasing that Lund University has been ranked number 8 by QS among all the universities in the world for its efforts towards sustainability. Last year, we were number 12. At the time we were a little surprised, and thought that one contributary factor could be that only 700 universities were included. A huge thank you to all those in research, education and the support organisation who have contributed to this incredible result. It spurs us on to continue with the work, because neither Lund University nor the world are sustainable yet,” says Per Mickwitz pro vice-chancellor for research, sustainability and campus development at Lund University.

Environmental impact, social impact and governance

The rankings consist of three areas: environmental impact, social impact and governance. Environmental impact has three sub-areas: sustainable education, sustainable institutions and sustainable research. Social impact includes five sub-areas: employability and opportunities, equality, quality of life, impact of education, and knowledge exchange. Governance assesses whether an institution has strong governance in place, for example through open decision-making, a holistic ethical organisation culture, student representation in the university’s governing bodies, and financial transparency. Governance is a new area, added this year.

  • Environmental impact: Lund University is ranked number 13 overall. The best sub-area is environmental research/sustainable research, in which Lund University is ranked number 2 in the world with 99.8 points out of 100.
  • Social impact: Lund University is ranked number 9 overall. The best sub-areas are equality and knowledge exchange. Lund University is ranked number 2 in the world in both sub-groups with the same score of 99.9 points out of 100. 
  • Governance: Lund University is ranked number 1 in the world with 100 points out of 100. 

The methodology has changed since the first sustainability rankings were announced in 2022, but the number and nature of the changes made is not yet completely clear. This makes it difficult to know how stable results will be from year to year. This year, the number of ranked universities is double compared with the previous year but at 1,403 is still less than 10 per cent of the global total.

Sustainability, now also a sub-indicator in the QS overall rankings, is based on the sustainability rankings.

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Read more about the rankings on the QS website: