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IITs dominate nation in QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024; DU tops list | Education News

3 min read

The University of Delhi (DU) has been featured as the most sustainable Indian institute in the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024 released today. Globally, the university has ranked at 220.

Overall, the University of Toronto  has ranked at the top, followed by the University of California, Berkeley (UCB)  and The University of Manchester  at the second and third spot.

This time, there is no Indian university in the first top 200 ranks. After DU, IIT Bombay has featured at 303 globally, followed by IIT Madras at 344, IIT Kharagpur at 349, IIT Roorkee at 387 and IIT Delhi at 426.

In addition to DU and IITs, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS) has ranked at 7th in India (444 globally), followed by Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) at 8th spot (449 globally), Anna University at the ninth spot (496 globally) and the Indian Institute of Science at the 10th spot (505 globally).

While India lacks in global sustainability rankings, it performed better in indicators related to environmental impact — which quantifies an institution’s commitment to, and implementation of, its sustainability and climate strategies. In the Environmental Sustainability indicator, four Indian universities have found a place among the world’s top 100, with Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) emerging as the national leader (49 globally).

Environmental Sustainability: Indian universities in world’s top 100

Institution

Score

Rank

Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT)

72.1

49

University of Delhi

66.7

66

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)

66

70

Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT)

63.5

81

Festive offer

Additionally, the University of Delhi was recognised for offering “world-class education in environmental and climate-related subjects”, placing 16th in QS’ Environmental Education indicator. In Asia, only The University of Tokyo performs better in this metric. However, a sharp drop-off sees the next highest-ranked university place outside the top 100.

While India is making strides in environmental education, Indian institutes are lacking in environmental research. The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) dominate this indicator domestically, with IIT Delhi taking the highest rank, in 236th. This metric assesses scholarly output classified by Elsevier as relating to SDGs 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Specifically, IITD excels in research related to Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11).

“India could look to improve factors related to QS’ Good Governance indicator, such as ethics, hiring practices, transparency and decision-making. In this metric, two Indian universities are among the world’s top 200, with Manipal Academy of Higher Education and the University of Delhi placing 111th and 167th respectively,” the QS report stated.

In the QS’ Equality indicator, Manipal Academy of Higher Education is the national leader, placing 463rd. It is the only Indian institution in the world’s top 500. Additionally, IIT boasts the country’s best graduate opportunities and career prospects, with all five of the country’s top performers in Employability and Outcomes being IIT. IIT-B is the top performer, placing 199th.

“India, as one of the world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide, faces a formidable challenge and shoulders immense responsibility for meeting its commitment to achieve net zero by 2070. In this context, the role of Indian universities is pivotal as they continue to expand in number and improve in quality,” QS Senior Vice President Ben Sowter said.

“While there are commendable achievements in certain areas of the ranking, there are also areas for improvement. The performance of institutions like VIT and the University of Delhi in Environmental Education and Institutional Sustainability is noteworthy and these achievements are crucial for India’s climate action plans. However, challenges related to Environmental Research and Equality remain. To align with the nation’s environmental commitments, universities need to amplify their research capabilities, foster diversity and inclusivity and invest in high-impact environmental research. Furthermore, as India seeks to enhance its inbound and outbound student mobility, carbon offsetting within the sector will become increasingly necessary,” he added.

Globally, Australia is among the top performers overall in this year’s rankings, boasting the second most top 10 universities alongside the UK with two, and behind Canada with three. Among locations with 10 or more ranked universities, Australia achieves the world’s highest average score for QS’ Social Impact category and Health and Wellbeing. Meanwhile, all three of the world’s top-scoring universities for Impact of Education are Australian.

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