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The UAB, top university in sustainable research in Spain according to the QS ranking

27 Oct 2022
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The new QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2023, which evaluates 700 universities worldwide, classified the UAB as the top university in sustainable research among all universities evaluated in Spain. This is one of the eight sustainability-related indicators analysed in the first edition of this type of ranking, which also ranked the UAB second in Spain at global level.


These new QS ranking evaluate 700 universities around the world to determine their environmental and social impact.

The first edition of the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2023 — which were announced recently — evaluate 700 universities around the world to determine their environmental and social impact. Their impact is evaluated in eight categories (or indicators) as a way effectively to understand the university's performance in terms of creating a positive change for people and the planet.

The QS Sustainability Rankings 2023 indicators are divided into two sectors: environmental impact and social impact. Within the environmental sector, QS analysed sustainable institutions, sustainable education and sustainable research, while social impact focused on equality, knowledge exchange, educational impact, employment and opportunities, and life quality.

The UAB received a general score of 55, second only behind the UB in the ranking of universities in Spain. In environmental impact, the UAB ranks 62 worldwide (2nd in Spain) and 94 worldwide in social impact (3rd in Spain).

The UAB classifies as top university in Spain in the category of sustainable research (84.3), followed by the University of Barcelona (79.2) and the University of the Basque Country (76.4). This indicator evaluates research activities conducted at university that adhere to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and whether the government funds research and development in this field.

In the life quality indicator — included in the social impact sector — the UAB also ranks in first place (92.6) alongside the UB. This indicador serves to understand an institution's commitment with well-being, within and outside the university, and also analyses research activities focusing on the quality of life, healthy campuses, air quality where the campus is located, etc.

In the other six indicators, the UAB ranks a bit further away from the top of the list, such as in sustainable institutions (49.9), sustainable education (64.5), equality (84.4), knowledge exchange (85.7), educational impact (70.2) and emplyment and opportunities (49.6).

The scores received in the eight indicators, thus, give the UAB a total score of 55 in this worldwide ranking, positioning the UAB as second university in Spain, only behind the University of Barcelona, which ranked 21. The Complutense University of Madrid is the third top university in Spain with a total ranking of 64.

More information on how each category is evaluated

The UAB, with Sustainable Development Goals

  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Gender equality
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Climate action