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The University of Canberra has ranked in first place globally for its efforts to reduce inequalities. Photo: Kerrie Brewer.

The University of Canberra (UC) has topped the world rankings for its effort to reduce inequalities, in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2021.

The university has also tied in fifth place for Quality Education and is in the top 20 for Gender Equality.

UC’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paddy Nixon said the results were an amazing achievement for the university.

“Education is the key to addressing inequality and, as a civic university, it is our role to ensure we have a warm, living community that supports all our students and staff and that the research we do impacts the real world,” Professor Nixon said.

UC’s research on social inequalities, policies on discrimination, and commitment to recruiting staff and students from under-represented groups, were among the factors that led to it being named the number one university in the world in the Reduced Inequalities category.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Leigh Sullivan said that the result is a high external recognition that the university is achieving their sustainable goals.

“Of UC’s student population, 38% are first generation students, and 10 % identify as students with disabilities,” Professor Sullivan said. 

“Last year, we reached the milestone of having 2% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment at the university, well on the way towards our goal of 3%.”

Professor Sullivan said there are quantifiable indicators of the university’s diverse community of both students and staff, and their strong policies supporting equality and diversity are effective.

With the university’s high ranks in Quality Education and Gender Equality, Professor Sullivan said the results belong to each member of the UC community, whose efforts to support diversity and equality have made a large difference.

“As we celebrate, we also acknowledge that there still remains much to address in these areas, and we are also looking forward to building on our current work, towards achieving all our sustainable development goals,” Professor Sullivan said.

The Times Higher Education Impact rankings is the only system in the world that ranks universities according to how they measure up to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

To see how other universities ranked, visit

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