“Times Higher Education”, a leading world university ranking institution in England or“THE” has made an announcement just recently of THE Impact Ranking 2022 of universities that carry out missions for the society. This year, it is something to be proud of that the overall score of Khon Kaen University is higher than last year, being ranked at 101-200 orders of the world and the third in Thailand. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) score of KKU this year reaches a place out of the world 100 institutions in 3 aspects as follows:
SDG 1: No poverty – elimination of poverty in all aspects and in all areas – KKU is ranked the world’s 22nd place and the first in Thailand.
SDG 2: Zero hunger – promotion of food security, upgrading of nutritional level, and promotion of sustainable agriculture – KKU is ranked the 21st of the world and the first in Thailand.
SDG 5: Gender equality – supporting equality of genders and promotion of strength among women and children – KKU is ranked the 23rd of the world and the second in Thailand.
Asst. Prof. Tala Thammaroj, M.D., Vice President for Administration of Khon Kaen University explained the ranking this year that Times Higher Education is one of the world’s leading university ranking institution. It uses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations as the guidelines for the ranking as the SDGs are the basis applied by the governmental and private sectors in working towards social sustainability. This year, the overall score of Khon Kaen University is at the third rank of the country. Therefore, it is something for KKU to be proud of. Besides the University Council’s policy in sustainable development goal, Khon Kaen University also holds the value of “Social Devotion”.
“Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of UN consists of 17 SDGs. In 2021, Khon Kaen University submitted 8 SDGs. In 2022, we submitted 10 SDGs, of which 3 SDGs were outstanding and scored highly. These were SDG 1: No Poverty, with the target in eliminating poverty in all aspects and all areas. KKU has submitted this goal for many years, and was ranked as outstanding nearly every year. There have been many projects such as the poverty mitigation project, the solution project for occupational problems in the areas, the income increasing project, or the product development project. During the past two years, KKU has been supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation for U2T project, which aims at building jobs and incomes to the community. Even though there is the problem from the spread of Covid, we did enter the areas to help the community. There was systematic data collection, under this project, as well as outstanding research work that supports the community and makes the score in this category among the tops of the world and the first in the country.”
“SDG 2: Zero Hunger, is aimed at promoting food security and upgrading the nutrition and sustainable agriculture. KKU’s SDGs in this category is more outstanding than the previous year. The stakeholders of the University including students and their parents were facing a lot of troubles under the Covid-19 pandemic. The University therefore supported and assisted nearly all students to free lunches, receive scholarships and reduction of several fees. The score in this aspect becomes higher. Besides, KKU cooperates with an external organization in collecting data about food waste. This has been done more systematically. We have attempted to come up with food that is right for everyone, by having the students and staff order the amount that is right for them to reduce waste. There has been the following up activity regularly. We also made a higher score here and that is why KKU’s SDG 2: Zero Hunger is ranked the 21st of the world and the first in the country.”
“SDG 5: Gender Equality – is aimed at attaining equality in gender and strengthening women and children by stopping discrimination. This has been a policy of Khon Kaen University for a long time. In enrolment of students, for instance, we have a higher proportion of girls than boys; and we also have a higher proportion of female staff than male staff. There are increasing numbers of female administrators. We never discriminate gender when recruiting officers, when granting scholarships, and when selecting new administrators. We are doing well in this aspect. For this SDG, KKU is ranked the 23rd in the world and the second in the country.”
Asst. Prof. Tala Thammaroj reported that for the next year, KKU has laid a plan and goal to cover more SDGs. “There are 17 SDGs under UN. Khon Kaen University has carried out works that are categorized under 10 SDGs. We are targeting 1-2 SDGs more each year until we cover all of the 17 goals. In terms of quality, we are working towards the better for all SDGs, by doing the following jobs:
- Research development – through knowledge construction in each SDG
- Academic service based on research work – by introducing bodies of knowledge in communities, by building cooperation at the national and international levels, by applying and transferring knowledge to target groups, which can be school students, university students, staff, the public and relevant organizations.
- Improvement of related operations: 1) systematizing operations, 2) having indicators that can be really, regularly and continuously measured, and the results can be used in another round of development,” ended the Vice President for Administration.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals-SDGs are as follows: SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 2: Zero hunger, SDG 3: Good health and well-being, SDG 4: Quality education, SDG 5: Gender equality, SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG 10: Reduced inequalities, SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production, SDG 13: Climate action, SDG 14: Life below water, SDG 15: Life on land, SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions, SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.