GEORGE TOWN, June 2 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has retained its impressive #4 position in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2023. With this achievement, USM now holds the distinction of being the top-ranked university in Asia and secures the first-place global ranking in SDG16. The remarkable feat reflects the success of USM’s vision of “Transforming Higher Education for a Sustainable Tomorrow” and its motto, “Kami Memimpin” (We Lead), showcasing the university’s distinctive approach and global prominence.

The Impact Rankings 2023 evaluated the performance of 1,591 institutions worldwide (compared to 1,410 in 2022) based on their contributions towards the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The rankings assess the universities’ achievements in fulfilling activities and programs aligned with the SDGs’ criteria. Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed, Vice-Chancellor of USM, emphasized that as the only APEX University in Malaysia, USM understands that sustainable practices extend beyond academia.

The university aims to inspire its students and staff to become responsible global citizens who actively contribute to creating a sustainable future. “By integrating sustainability principles into our teaching and research, USM empowers individuals to address complex challenges through innovative solutions and advocate for sustainable development in their respective fields,” said Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abdul Rahman Mohamed. This achievement reinforces USM’s commitment to fostering a sustainable future, driving positive change.

And inspiring a new generation of leaders dedicated to prioritizing the well-being of people and the planet. USM excelled in several SDGs in the 2023 rankings, with its highest rankings achieved in SDG 16 (Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), and SDG 1 (No Poverty). Additionally, SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) is a mandatory criterion evaluated alongside the top three scores. For SDG 1, USM’s mission to uplift the socio-economic well-being of the bottom billion involves ensuring fundamental needs such as food, healthcare, and education are met.

Through various initiatives, including financial aid, tuition assistance, and support for food, housing, and transportation, USM directly addresses the impact of poverty on B40 students. These programs not only enhance their educational opportunities but also contribute to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. USM’s commitment to SDG 2 is reflected in its efforts to end hunger, achieve food security, and promote sustainable agriculture.

The university actively distributes food through food banks, programs such as Le’mari@Kejut, and Iftar@USM, significantly reducing the number of students and employees facing food insecurity. Regarding SDG 16, USM focuses on promoting inclusive and peaceful societies by ensuring access to justice and creating inclusive institutions. The university upholds principles to curb organized crime, bribery, and corruption, creating a safe and fear-free environment for staff and students from diverse backgrounds.

Recent appointments within USM, such as the HEPA Deputy Vice-Chancellor as the Department of Higher Education’s Director-General, exemplify the university’s commitment to developing outstanding individuals. USM’s consistent efforts in academic, research, industry, and community networking activities have contributed to its prestigious position. As the sole university in Malaysia to be awarded APEX status by the Ministry of Higher Education, USM continues to implement programs and activities aligned with sustainability, addressing the needs of the bottom billion and SDGs.

With its continued dedication to sustainable practices and impactful contributions, USM remains a leading force in higher education, setting an example for universities worldwide and spearheading the path towards a sustainable future.

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