UAlberta moves up to fourth in Canada in latest QS ranking

Academic reputation, international strength continue to drive strong standing among top universities worldwide.


(Edmonton) The University of Alberta has moved up the list of the top five universities in Canada, according to a respected ranking of universities worldwide.

The 2015–16 QS Rankings, released Sept. 15, places the University of Alberta fourth in Canada after McGill University, the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Last year saw the U of A ranked fifth in Canada.

“The latest QS rankings report confirms what students, faculty and alumni already know—that the University of Alberta offers one of the best post-secondary educational experiences in the country,” said U of A provost Steven Dew.

The QS World University Rankings ranks more than 700 universities worldwide based on six metrics—academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, citations, and international faculty and students. High scores for international faculty, international students and academic reputation in particular continue to drive the U of A’s standing among the 24 Canadian post-secondary institutions considered by the QS rankings.

“The ability to attract top students and faculty from around the world reflects the exceptional efforts made by the U of A to build international partnerships and programs,” Dew said. “Clearly we’re seeing the benefits of these efforts as our international profile as a centre of teaching and research excellence continues to grow.”

Dew added that, though they don’t factor directly into QS’s assessment, the quality of the university’s physical facilities play an important part in enhancing the U of A’s reputation.

"Being able to offer world-class labs and other facilities is key in recruiting and retaining teaching and research talent to the U of A,” Dew said. “We’re hopeful provincial funding will continue at a level that enables us to provide such facilities, build our professoriate and continue the work of establishing a strong international reputation.”

Despite what the U.K.-based company describes as “significant changes to methodology” in compiling its rankings, the University of Alberta retained a spot in the top 100 universities in the world, placing 96th overall with a score of 70.1 points. McGill ranked 24th overall with a score of 88.6, the University of Toronto came in 34th with a score of 87.1 and UBC was 50th in worldwide rankings with a score of 81.2. L’université de Montréal, the only other Canadian university to rank ahead of the U of A last year, slipped from 83rd to 115th place this year.

Considered by faculty area, the U of A continues to perform well in the areas of Life Sciences & Medicine (89th) and Arts & Humanities (113th).

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was ranked number one worldwide by QS for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Harvard, Cambridge, Stanford and the California Institute of Technology. Five of the top 10 universities worldwide are located in the United States, four in the United Kingdom and one in Switzerland.