healthcare universities
From Ireland to Taiwan, these institutions are leading the way in health science education. Source: Misha Friedman/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Healthcare universities have been at the forefront of higher education in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to the recently-released Times Higher Education (THE)’s Impact Rankings 2020, we now know which among them prioritise good health and well-being.

This ranking measures universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global action plan for a better planet come 2030. Good health and well-being is the third SDG.

For SDG3, the universities were assessed based on their research on key diseases and conditions, the proportion of health graduates, support for healthcare professions, outreach programmes and services, and health of students and staff.

healthcare universities

A healthcare worker attends to a COVID-19 patient at the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital near Madrid, Spain. The pandemic has brought healthcare professionals and education to the forefront. Source: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Institutions in Ireland, Australia, and Taiwan emerged the top three.

Japan has the most institutions on the list: 55. This is followed by Russia with 39, and Turkey with 33.

THE states: “Although the data were gathered before the coronavirus crisis, they reveal the universities that are likely to be at the forefront of the healthcare response to the pandemic.”

Healthcare universities are vital for STEM education

Ranking Institution Country/ Region
1 RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences Republic of Ireland
2 La Trobe University La Trobe University
3 China Medical University, Taiwan Taiwan
4 University of Auckland New Zealand
5 University of Otago New Zealand
6 McMaster University Canada
7 University of Alabama at Birmingham United States
8 Australian Catholic University Australia
9 University of Dundee United Kingdom
10 Chang Gung University Taiwan

Source: Times Higher Education

According to the ranking, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences of Ireland leads the way in terms of good health and well-being. In second place is Australia’s La Trobe University, followed by China Medical University, Taiwan.

“The role of the university sector, particularly in the health sciences, has never become more relevant and more important,” RCSI CEO and registrar Cathal Kelly told THE.

He was referring, of course, to the role of healthcare education in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 will go down in history as the year we realised how much the world needs healthcare professionals. Be it microbiology, nursing, or public health policy, health science courses are attracting attention to the world’s top healthcare universities.

In Kelly’s words, COVID-19 has “brought a very welcome focus back on the importance of STEM and the importance of universities and the view of experts to influence policy.”

See more of what he had to say here:

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