The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.

They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Read about Victoria University's approach to meeting the United Nations SDGs.

THE Impact Ranking logo, text 2020 Top 200

THE Impact Rankings

Victoria University's focus on quality education, justice, health and sustainability has been recognised with impressive rankings by Times Higher Education (THE).

THE Impact Rankings capture universities’ impact on society, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Based on the goals, in 2021 VU is ranked:

  • =10th for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16) out of 653 globally ranked institutions
  • 77th for Quality Education (SDG 4) out of 966 globally ranked institutions
  • 101-200 for Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3) out of 871 globally ranked institutions
  • 101-200 for Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) out of 685 globally ranked institutions
  • 101-200 for Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11) out of 656 globally ranked institutions
  • 101-200 for Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17) out of 1154 globally ranked institutions.

We are committed to building on these achievements, by providing accessible education, improving planetary health and creating healthier, more-inclusive societies.

#10= globally

Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions, UN Goal 16, THE Impact Rankings

#101–200 globally

Partnerships for the Goals, UN Goal 17, THE Impact Rankings

#101–200 globally

Good Health & Well Being, UN Goal 3, THE Impact Rankings

Our approach to meeting the Goals

African-Australian Bulldogs community

In all that we do in our research, our teaching, on our campuses and in our communities, we work to improve the health and wellbeing of our local and global communities, and the planet that we share.

It is this philosophy that drives our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Place-based planetary health

Planet earth from space

We hold planetary health at the centre of our identity and moral purpose.

We are part of the rapidly growing global planetary health community, which recognises the intersect between the health of people and the planet – and the impact of human behaviour upon the natural world.

Read about our University-wide commitment to planetary health.

Working with our community

VU is committed to local partnership projects that make a difference to our communities. 

Research with impact

In 2020, VU has funded 25 new research projects, supported by more than 80 researchers from many disciplines, focused on sustainable development.

University sustainability initiative

We are cleaning up our own backyard through campus sustainability initiatives.

Our students will be surrounded by an active commitment to planetary health, in what they see and learn.

Learning that changes lives

We offer Australia’s first Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health, while offering a broad range of courses addressing planetary health, community health and sustainability.

We are committed to being a university without borders, providing quality education that is open to any student from any background.

Addressing the goals

These planetary health projects, programs and teaching approaches directly address the following SDGs.

1 No Poverty| 3 Good Health & Well-being| 4 Quality Education| 5 Gender Equality| 6 Clean Water & Sanitation| 7 Affordable & Clean Energy |9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure| 10 Reduced Inequalities| 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities| 12 Responsible Consumption & Production| 13 Climate Action| 14 Life Below Water| 15 Life on Land| 16 Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions| 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Quality Education – Goal 4

We are ranked 77th in the world for the Quality Education goal, out of more than 960 institutions, thanks to our commitment to accessible, inclusive education.

VU is committed to providing quality, career-based tertiary education that is open to any student from any background and at all levels in the tertiary journey. Our multiple and flexible entry and exit points and pathways help students from all backgrounds achieve their goals.

Our unique advantage in education lies in our dual sector status, as a provider of Higher Education (university) and Vocational Education and Training (TAFE).

We also conduct outreach and engagement with schools, as part of the lifelong journey in education and learning.

Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions – Goal 16

We are ranked 10th equal out of more than 650 institutions globally for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (Goal 16), making our ranking the best in Australia.

Victoria University is a key contributor of economic policy research and expertise to local and regional partnerships. Our contributions aid the economic and infrastructure development of the west of Melbourne.

We have a range of institutions that provide the following to a number of government and other agencies:

  • cutting-edge and contemporary policy advice and capacity-building skills
  • outreach activities
  • education services
  • public lectures, events and conferences.

Good Health & Well-being – Goal 3

We appear in the 101–200 band for Good Health and Well Being (Goal 3) out of 620 globally ranked institutions.

Our strong focus on improving health outcomes through a holistic and preventative approach is built on decades of applied, translational research. This research involves a strong engagement with public authorities, industry and community.

VU has established a key flagship Health, Sport and Active Living. Their mission is to build healthy, active and resilient communities, reduce the burden of chronic disease, enhance health and sport industries and develop a workforce that excels in diverse environments.

We are at the forefront of economic and social development in the west of Melbourne through our courses, research capability, and community and industry engagement. The west of Melbourne is expected to accommodate more than 40% of metropolitan Melbourne’s population growth over the next forty years. It is home to people from more than 130 nations, reflecting its distinctive cultural diversity.

Partnerships for the Goals – Goal 17

We are ranked in the 101–200 band out of 806 globally ranked institutions for Partnership for the Goals (Goal 17).

Our two flagship research institutes partner with NGOs to undertake research and engage on issues relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals:

VU has several peak policy bodies, whose purpose is to develop and shape policy which meets the diverse, distinctive and complex needs of communities, including disadvantaged ones:

The Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of this policy and strategy work. VU seeks collaborative research and project work, where appropriate, to foster knowledge synergies and diffusion and joint problem-solving capabilities.