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Durham University

Durham University News


Durham world top 50 for number of UN Sustainable Development Goals

(21 May 2020)

Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre. Helping parents and babies sleep better

We’ve been named as one of the world’s top universities for our contribution to a number of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A new set of rankings places us in the top 50 in four SDGs: Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Life on Land; and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

We also appear in the world top 100 in a further seven SDGs: Reduced Inequalities, No Poverty, Life Below Water, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Climate Action, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Zero Hunger.

Social and economic impact

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings rate 766 universities from 85 countries, judging them on research, outreach and stewardship to measure their social and economic impact in relation to SDGs.

Highlights at Durham include:

  • Research by our award-winning Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre that has helped reduce rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) through evidence-based advice for health professionals and parents.
  • Work by our ROBUST project to regenerate former industrial brownfield sites by improving soil health and flood resilience leading to an improvement in community health and well-being.
  • Our Greenspace initiative which is developing the environmental sustainability of the University including policies on travel, energy use, waste and fair trade.


In addition the PhD students in the Durham University Global Challenges Centre for Doctoral Training are working to solve specific global challenges linked to the United Nations’ SDGs.

Durham is recognised as one of the world’s leading universities with students and staff from more than 130 countries.

We also play a significant role in our local community and we are developing the University so we continue to be a sustainable contributor to international and national research and innovation while playing a key part in the future of our region.

Find out more

  • Visit here to find out more about our world leading research

Events at Durham University

Check out our new What's On guide to keep up-to-date with dance, drama, lectures, exhibitions, family activities and much more.