University of Toronto, University of British Columbia , and McGill University are ranked in the top 50 of Times Higher Education (THE) 2017-2018 World University Rankings. Three other Canadian universities, McMaster University, Université de Montréal, and University of Alberta, are in the top 200.
University of British Columbia jumped two places to 34th, while University of Toronto and McGill University held their respective positions in 22nd and 42nd. The three universities are located in Canada’s three largest cities: Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.
Every year, THE World University Rankings publishes a global assessment of the top 1,000 universities to benefit students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments around the world.
The ranking is one of the most cited global university performance assessments to evaluate research-based universities across a range of categories, including Teaching, Research, Citations, Industry Income and International Outlook.
|Name||Rank 2018||Rank 2017||Overall Score||Teaching||Research||Citations||Industry Income||International Outlook|
|University of Toronto||22||22||82.8||74.6||84.8||92.6||46.5||80.1|
|University of British Columbia||34||36||76.2||61.8||72.2||93.4||42.6||92.2|
|Université de Montréal||108||108||59.6||44.5||48.9||79.0||65.3||83.2|
|University of Alberta||119||107||58.6||47.2||51.2||70.5||63.4||84.8|
Understanding the scores
In order to arrive at an overall score, the ranking uses a standardization approach to combine all data retrieved through various surveys that measure each category separately. Each category makes up a percentage of the overall score: Teaching (30%), Research (30%), Citations (30%), Industry Income (2.5%) and International Outlook (7.5%). There are sub-categories within these categories.
The Teaching category evaluates the learning environment and gives a sense of an institution’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of academics by looking at responses from an annual Academic Reputation Survey. The Research category gives insight into an institution’s research excellence and the amount of research grants awarded to high-demand subject areas. In the Citations category, the research influence of any given institution is considered through an evaluation of the amount of research published by a university, and how often that research is referenced in books, journal articles, conferences, and article reviews. A small percentage of the score is allocated to Industry income, which reflects a university’s ability to help industry with inventions and the university’s ability to receive funding by companies for its innovation efforts.
One particular category in which all six Canadian universities in the top 200 scored highly is International Outlook. This category considers a university’s ability to attract international talent at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels. International Outlook also examines the international-to-domestic student ratio, international-to-domestic-staff ratio, and international collaboration efforts in the university. Therefore, the higher the percentage of international students in the university, the higher the score may be for this factor.
|Name||International Outlook Score 2017-2018||International Outlook Score 2016-2017||International Students 2017-2018||International Students 2016-2017|
|University of Toronto||80.1||78.3||17%||16%|
|University of British Columbia||92.2||92.0||29%||29%|
|Université de Montréal||83.2||85.0||22%||24%|
|University of Alberta||84.8||82.7||26%||24%|
Other universities in Canada also have a higher proportion of international students among their student body. All but one Canadian university witnessed an increase in the international outlook score. University of Toronto, which ranks at 22 for the second year in a row, has witnessed a one percent increase in international students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels year-over-year. Moreover, McGill University at 42 and University of Alberta at 107 both have a two percent increase of students coming from abroad. Université de Montréal dropped both in its percentage of international students and the International Outlook score.
|Name||International Students 2017-2018(Percentage of Student Body)||International Students
|University of Calgary||19%||18%|
|University of Ottawa||17%||15%|
|University of Waterloo||17%||15%|
|Simon Fraser University||29%||29%|
|University of Victoria||15%||12%|
|University of Manitoba||15%||13%|
Canada as an appealing study destination
The increasing appeal of Canada as a study destination may be attributed to many factors, such as greater efforts by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to retain international students upon graduation, as well as, other causes such as political changes in the United States and around the world. In fact, IRCC data shows that study permit applications have continuously increased over time. By the end 2016 there were 229,662 applications submitted for the year, 46,638 more than in the same period in 2015. Furthermore, study permit applications from India have more than doubled in the first three months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
A 2016 report conducted by Prairie Research Associates had international students rank the five most important aspects that attract them to choose Canada as a study destination. The findings show three of the most important factors that influence first year international students to choose a particular study destination are: cost of tuition and fees, the university’s expected welcoming environment, and the academic reputation of Canadian universities. The other two factors that follow are: recommendations from friends and family, and the ease of visa processing in Canada in comparison to other countries.
For example, five-year enrolment trends at the University of Toronto indicate a steady increase of international student enrolment.
Beyond standardized ranking systems
While standardized ranking systems may help potential students better plan their study pathway, prospective students may also need to consider their own personal education goals.
Some prospective students, particularly those seeking a graduate or doctoral degree, may be interested in a university that scores high in the Research category. On the other hand, students may be concerned with work placement and hands-on experience, in which case a Canadian college, rather than a university, may be more suitable.
One important aspect that standardized ranking systems may overlook is the welcoming environment that first-year students — in the Prairie Research Associates study—reported as an important characteristic of an appealing academic institution. For international students, choosing a university in Canada is often equivalent to choosing a new home.
If you want to discover your options for studying in Canada, complete the free CanadaVisa Study Pathway Assessment Form today.
For helpful information, updates and news that will help make your life easier as an international student and/or graduate in Canada, join the CanadaVisa Study Hub. You also have a chance to win a $500 scholarship.
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