UNSW retains global top 20 spot, new heights in impact rankings, King’s Birthday Honours and Respect Week – 12 June 2024

12 Jun 2024
UNSW Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs joins students at the Quad during Respect Week

Dear colleagues

It’s been a wonderful week of accolades for UNSW. Last week, I shared the exciting news that UNSW has again been ranked 19th in the QS World University Rankings. Today, I’m delighted to announce UNSW has ranked 7th in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, entering the top 10 for the first time.

The THE Impact Rankings, which measure university commitment to sustainability and contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), were announced today in Bangkok, where UNSW is leading two events. UNSW moved up from 18th globally to achieve 7th position, with four SDGs in the top 10 and 11 in the top 100. Our expertise in sustainability, climate change and global development means we are uniquely positioned to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges and contribute towards advancing the SDGs. But we cannot be complacent in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters, in fact the opposite. Early this year the University Leadership Team (ULT) moved to establish an ESG advisory group and process to focus on reviewing and aligning all the various policies and approaches related to ESG across the University. See more information on UNSW’s approach to ESG accountability and how you can be involved. 

UNSW retained our 19th position globally in the QS World University Rankings. These results, in our 75th anniversary year, solidify our position as a top 20 global university. Academic reputation, the most significant and entirely qualitative component of most ranking systems, takes centuries to build. The fact that UNSW is one of only four universities in the global top 20 under a century, and far younger than most by hundreds of years is more proof of the incredible community we have, and have had, for the last 75 years.

Our increase in our rankings also increases our responsibility to use the recognition and global influence they bring to increase our positive impact on society. This is at the heart of our community and our next strategy which will be centred around our commitment to improve the world through innovation, social cohesion, good health and economic prosperity for all.

Finally, and most importantly on this topic, I want to thank each and every one of you for the part you played in our University’s achievements. Your hard work, dedication and talents progress UNSW’s vision of improving lives through transformative education and research.

Share your views on our next UNSW Strategy

For 75 years since 1949, we have stayed true to our founding mission, ensuring access to excellent education and using our research and skills to tackle significant challenges facing NSW, Australia and more recently the globe. We have continued to anticipate and respond to the changing needs of the society we serve. As our S25 strategy draws to a close, and the world changes rapidly around us, the time is right to set in place how UNSW will maximise our positive impact on lives and communities in the next period. That’s why we are developing a strategy that will provide some foci for our work over the next 10 years – and equip us for the next 30 years and more.

The strategy planning process is underway, the first part being the recently concluded consultation on our inaugural Societal Impact Framework. We are now seeking your broader input. I invite, and strongly encourage, you to share your views and insights to make sure this strategy is one for the entire UNSW community – and appropriate for our time. We want to shape a strategy that amplifies our distinctiveness, our ambition for significant positive impact and builds on the robust foundations of our University an operating platform perfectly suited to the current and future activities of UNSW. 

Over the next six months we will be hosting engagement activities, starting with a series of online and face-to-face discussions in July. We would love input from as many people in the UNSW community as possible to help us identify our priorities for the next 10 years and set the cornerstone for our centenary. Please share your thoughts with us about where and how UNSW should be heading, towards our centenary in 2049. Find out how you can get involved.

UNSW students champion respect

UNSW Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs joins students at the Quad during Respect Week

UNSW Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs joins students at the Quad during Respect Week

It was fantastic to catch up with some of our student leaders from Arc during Respect Week (pictured top), advocating for a community where everyone feels valued and respected. Their tag line is “be a better human”.  Respect Week focuses on celebrating diversity and tackling discrimination of all kinds by encouraging healthy discussions, removing stigma and fostering an inclusive culture. This year Respect Week aimed to create innovative ways to bring students into the gendered violence conversation, and to increase students’ familiarity with the principles of consent.

It’s wonderful to see our students facilitate open dialogues and create spaces where social cohesion is encouraged, often in creative ways including interfaculty challenges (congratulations to the winners from Engineering!). The Quad was packed with students enthusiastically engaged with the Respect Week activities.

In a world which is seeing the rise of devastating conflicts, fracturing of social cohesion, increases in extremism and the horrendous scourge that is gendered violence, our students’ commitment to fostering a culture of empathy, respect and positive behaviours is a demonstration of true leadership. It’s an optimistic reminder of the positive change we can create in the future by embracing diversity and championing respect in all our interactions. My sincere thanks to our friends at Arc and colleagues involved in bringing us Respect Week.

UNSW graduates lead in employment outcomes 

UNSW graduates have continued to lead in employment outcomes for Australian university graduates in the 2023 Graduate Outcomes Survey Longitudinal (GOS-L).  

UNSW domestic undergraduates had the highest median salaries in Australia three years after graduation, while UNSW domestic postgraduates had the highest median salaries in the country three years after graduation for the fifth year in a row. 

These results are a testament to the commitment of our academic and professional staff in equipping students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to thrive in the workplace. It is a pleasing reaffirmation of the high value employers place on our amazing students and alumni and a degree from UNSW. Read more in this edition of Inside UNSW.

King’s Birthday Honours

Congratulations to all the members of the UNSW community who were awarded King’s Birthday Honours on Monday. It’s a wonderful acknowledgment of their significant contributions to Australian society. These colleagues and alumni have demonstrated exceptional commitment, often over many, many years, to advancing positive change and improving the world around us. Thank you to our honourees for your exemplary service. Visit the Newsroom to read more about this year’s Kings Birthday Honours recipients.

Professor Frederik Anseel appointed Dean of Business

As you may have read in my email last week, Professor Frederik Anseel has been appointed Dean of Business at UNSW Sydney and will commence in the role immediately.

Prof. Anseel has been employed at UNSW in the Faculty of Business since 2019, most recently as Interim Dean. Prior to the interim appointment, he led the operations of the Faculty’s seven Schools and the Centre for Social Impact.

With a background in Psychology, Prof. Anseel is a world-leading authority in the fields of leadership, learning and wellbeing in organisations. His international and Australian experience in leadership roles, coupled with his vision and reputation for bringing academia and industry together, position him well to lead UNSW Business School to the next level of excellence, success and impact. Please join me in congratulating Frederik on his appointment.

There’s more to read Inside UNSW…

  • Congratulations Scientia Professor Andrea Morello from UNSW’s School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications and Professor Andy Baker from UNSW’s School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES) who have received two of 17 highly coveted Australian Laureate Fellowships from the Australian Research Council (ARC) in the latest round of funding.
  • On World Environment Day, Wednesday 5 June, UNSW released its Environmental Sustainability Report 2023. The report outlines many notable achievements which demonstrate the significant strides UNSW has continued to make in its quest to secure a more liveable world.  
  • The staff profile is always an enjoyable read. In this edition of Inside UNSW, we learn about Dr Yuan Wang, Head of Greater China Strategic Industry Partnerships at UNSW.
  • I’m pleased to share that Winter Warmers is back again this year and registrations are now open. I’m looking forward to seeing many of your there, particularly in the festive spirit of celebrating our 75-year anniversary.

Have a great week, everyone.

Best regards

Professor Attila Brungs
Vice-Chancellor and President