Professor James Wilsdon: deliver us from rankers

Deliver us from rankers by Professor James Wilsdon

James Wilsdon on the launch of THE’s University Impact Rankings. 

Professor James Wilsdon is our former Associate Director, Grantham supervisor and member of Plastics: Redefining Single-Use.

The new ranking system from THE incorporates Sustainable Development Goals, targets the Grantham Centre uses to better position our research. But is ranking universities according to their SDG performance a good idea? James thinks not.

Deliver us from rankers says James Wilsdon

‘It feels churlish to respond with a weary snarl to the launch last week of THE’s University Impact Rankings. Sustainable development, wellbeing, decent work, gender equality – what’s not to like?

And of course, at one level, anything that incentivises, recognises and rewards universities for their diverse and myriad contributions to society is a good thing. As Jonathan Grant of King’s College London describes, participating in the pilot round of this exercise was, for them at least, a positive experience, which “challenged us to think even more broadly about how we considered our social impact.”’

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