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Global rankings spotlight Virginia Techs sustainability, food security efforts | Virginia Tech News

Global rankings spotlight Virginia Techs sustainability, food security efforts |  Virginia Tech News
Global rankings spotlight Virginia Techs sustainability, food security efforts |  Virginia Tech News


Virginia Tech's research emphasis on sustainability continues to receive international acclaim as the university ranked in the top 10 percent of participating schools in the Times Higher Education 2024 Impact Rankings released Wednesday.

The Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking assesses participating universities against the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The rankings use calibrated indicators to compare universities in four areas: research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.

Virginia Techs increase in research spending helped the university's rating. The university reported a record $419 million in extramural research spending in 2023, surpassing its goal of $410 million. University spending on research increased by more than 10 percent for the second year in a row.

Virginia Techs research ecosystem is thriving, said Dan Sui, senior vice president for research and innovation. We are able to maintain this momentum because our world-class faculty is committed to innovating and collaborating across traditional research boundaries through creative activities, while also being nimble and evolving with technology.

Virginia Tech, ranked 101-200 by Times Higher Education, was one of 2,152 schools from 125 countries to participate in THEs Impact rankings, an increase of more than 200 schools from last years group. Of the 17 United Nations SDGs, Virginia Tech made appearances on 10 and recorded top 200 marks globally in six of those 10.

Virginia Tech's top score came in the SDG of Zero Hunger, a category that considers a university's research on hunger, its teaching of food sustainability, a commitment to address food waste and a commitment to address hunger on campus and at the local level.

The university, bolstered in part by its focus on increasing agricultural productivity through improved genetics, precision agriculture, soil health and pest and disease management, finished 32nd globally in this category.

Except this, Waste Minimization Initiative at Virginia Tech Dining Services that sends food waste and biodegradable food packaging to composting facilities and Virginia Tech Market, which provides food assistance to qualifying students, contributed to the university rankings. Virginia Tech continues to put resources into The Market, led by donations from prominent alums.

Other programs that contributed to the high score included Virginia Cooperative Extensions food security and food systemsuniversities Initial Coalition of Virginia Farmers and Ranchers to improve opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers to support sustainable operations, and Small Farm Incubator within the Catawba Sustainability Center that provides access to land for new and beginning farmers all contributed to the top ranking.

Virginia Tech also scored highly on the Reduced Inequalities SDG, ranking 80th. This SDG focuses on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and investing more in health, education, social protection and decent work , especially for young people, migrants and refugees and other vulnerable communities.

An emphasis on increasing the number of women in STEM-related careers and in building construction helped achieve universities' results on this SDG. Also, Virginia Tech engineering faculty received a $1.2 million grant to study efforts to overcome scientific isolation and undervaluation among black discipline-based education researchers, part of a three-year study with Ohio State and Vanderbilt universities .

Except this, Virginia's technical advantage helped universities score, with its emphasis on providing a broad educational experience for undergraduate students from Virginia who demonstrate financial need. Virginia Tech students have used resources not only to offset tuition costs, but to secure internships that lead to future employment.

Office of Inclusion and Diversity inclusive VT program and Student Affairs Services for Students with Disabilities also contributed to the high score on this SDG.

Other SDGs in which Virginia Tech ranks in the top 200 include Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Development, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action and Life on Earth. The university ranks in the top 75th percentile of world universities participating in the aforementioned SDGs.

More information about Virginia Techs rankings can be found online.




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