UAlberta holds strong in latest Maclean's rankings

University retains top-five ranking among Canada's elite post-secondary institutions.


(Edmonton) The University of Alberta was once again affirmed as one of Canada’s top five universities as part of the Maclean’s annual university rankings.

The rankings, to be released in the Canadian news magazine’s Nov. 10 issue, saw the U of A hold steady in fifth spot among the elite Canadian post-secondary schools

U of A provost Carl Amrhein says the university’s consistent strong showing in the reputation components is a direct result of a commitment to faculty recruitment that includes both young and established professors.

“With recent financial challenges behind us, I think what we are beginning to see is our good young professors begin to establish their research programs and build their reputations,” said Amrhein.

The Maclean’s university rankings, now in its 24th year, take into account 14 indicators of the quality of students, faculty, libraries and finances. Universities are placed in one of three categories, with the U of A competing in the Medical Doctoral, the top category reserved for universities that offer a broad range of PhD programs and research, and that have a medical school.

The strength of the U of A’s ranking comes in the areas of financial support and national reputation, based on a survey of a cross-section of Canadian university stakeholders—guidance counsellors, university administrators and corporate leaders—to gauge their views on quality and innovation at Canadian universities.

The Maclean’s ranking comes on the heels of an 84th-place showing in the 2014-15 QS World University Rankings. The jump into the world’s top 90 universities comes courtesy of a pair of 12-point jumps in the last two years. The QS ranking, which puts a heavy emphasis on reputation, also places the U of A in the top five nationally.

Consistently being included as a top five post-secondary school in Canada, according to Amrhein, is a testament to the focus the university community has on creating a first-rate student experience.

“The learning experience is the foundation for recruiting and retaining professors, and in turn they’re the ones who attract the graduate students and the post-docs,” said Amrhein. “If we are able to continue to build the professoriate, reputation and rankings will take care of themselves.”

The U of A trailed only McGill, the universities of Toronto and British Columbia, and Queen’s in the rankings.