Inaugural QS Sustainability ranking places Waterloo at fourth


For the first time ever the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings for Sustainability has been released. UW came in fourth in Canada, tied with McGill, and 42nd in the world at a three-way tie.

The QS rankings are known for their annual world university rankings covering 51 subject areas. However, this year they have included a sustainability ranking based on factors such as how environmentally friendly the institution is, and the current sustainable education and research.

“I think UWaterloo has taken multiple steps to become a more sustainable campus for several years now. The school has many of their objectives in their Environmental Sustainability Strategy so hopefully we can see those come to fruition soon. Of course, students also play a large part in the sustainability aspects of the campus, so getting ranked so high is a huge win for the university and the students” said Jessica Hu, a fourth-year student in environmental science.

While sustainability continues to be a topic of concern, the QS has made a conscious effort by ranking 700 institutions on various environmental factors.

“I am pleased to see Waterloo well represented on this new sustainability ranking amongst our Canadian and global peers… Today, much of the teaching, inquiry, and outreach taking place through our faculties and research centres and institutes on our campuses focus on understanding and contributing to our sustainable future and the connections between a sustainable environment and society,” said president and vice-chancellor Vivek Goel in a UW media relations interview.

Waterloo has continued to create a more sustainable campus guided by their Environmental Sustainability Strategy and strives to become a leader in education and research in the field.

With over 500 sustainability courses, UW has a new pilot course covering climate change with a unique spin of including different faculty perspectives from senior undergraduate students.

Six PhD students representing all six faculties will be running the course called The Wicked Problem of Climate Change set to start in Winter 2023.

Ten students from each faculty will be able to enroll in this course to discuss their perspectives and opinions regarding the current climate issues. The course aims to spark new ideas, solutions and connections related to sustainability across the faculties.

“By challenging students to reflect on the roles and limitations of science for understanding the fundamentals of climate change, predicting impacts, proposing solutions and dialoguing with traditional knowledge, we will encourage students to develop their own stance on the Wicked Problem of Climate Change,” said Debora Andrade-Pereira, a PhD student in the department of biology, in a UW media relations interview.