Leiden University 20th in SustainaBul ranking
Leiden University has come 20th in the annual SustainaBul ranking. The SustainaBul is a prize awarded to the most sustainable higher education institution in the Netherlands. This position, a drop compared to last year, highlights which will require particular attention in the University’s new sustainability vision.
For the ninth year running, national student organisation Studenten voor Morgen investigated whether sustainability is integrated in the policy, teaching and research at higher education institutions in the Netherlands. It assessed 30 research universities and universities of applied sciences. Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences was this year’s winner and VU Amsterdam came second, making it the most sustainable research university in the Netherlands.
The Studenten voor Morgen survey focuses on four categories: operational management, teaching, research and best practices. Students and the universities fill in a questionnaire about how sustainable their institution is. This means that the SustainaBul is also a survey of the availability and transparency of information about sustainability.
Leiden University was in the top ten for sustainability in its operational management, but scored much lower for its teaching and research. Daphne van den Berg, Programme Manager for Sustainability at Leiden University, says: ‘This ranking makes it clear that our new sustainability vision needs to pay more attention to these two areas.’ The current Environmental Policy Plan expires this year and many of the objectives that it set have been achieved. A University workgroup is therefore currently working on a new sustainability vision and is determining the shape that a sustainable Leiden University should take in future. Van den Berg: ‘The results of the SustainaBul will help us pinpoint which areas will need to be emphasised in the new vision. The best practices of other research universities and universities of applied sciences will also provide inspiration for practical improvements.’