Canada falls in World University Rankings' 2015 list

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The annual QS World University Rankings have been released and three Canadian post-secondary institutions have made the top 50 list of best universities, but their positions are significantly lower than they were last year.

McGill University topped the list for Canadian schools with a world ranking of number 24, followed by the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia.

The world’s best begin with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard and the University of Cambridge. Five of the top 10 schools are located in the United States, four in the UK and one, ETH Zurich, in Switzerland.

UBC fell in the ranks between 2014 and 2015, coming down from 43rd spot last year to 50th place this year. McGill and Toronto also lost points with UofT making the steepest drop from 20th place to 34th. In 2012, Toronto held the 17th spot on the world-wide list.

According to the rankings, the best subject to study at UBC is geography, the university’s highest-ranked subject at 6th place in the world. It is also the 29th best school in the world to study Arts and Humanities.

McGill is best-known for their Medicine program which ranks 22nd in the world. The school is also the 34th best place to study Life Sciences and Medicine.

The University of Toronto has the 11th best Geography program and is the 12th best place to study Life Sciences and Medicine in the world.

The QS World University Rankings are determined using six indicators rating each school’s performance in that area. Forty per cent of the weight is based on academic reputation “in which academics are asked to identify the institutions where they believe the best work is currently taking place within their own field of expertise,” the organization states. One-tenth is based on employer reputation which surveys employers around the world on which universities are producing the best graduates.

Twenty per cent of the ranking is judged by the student-to-faculty ratio of each university in order to determine which schools can offer small class sizes and individual supervision. Another 20 per cent counts on the number of citations per faculty, looking at how influential each university’s research is. The last indicators look at the ratio of international faculty and international students, judging how successful each school is at attraction academics and students from outside their borders.

The bottom of the list for Canada’s top schools ends with Ryerson University, ranked over 700 in the world, just behind the University of Windsor. Other poorly performing Canadian schools include Université de Sherbrooke, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Manitoba, Carleton University and University of Guelph. Fellow B.C. schools Simon Fraser University of the University of Victoria came in at #225 and #319 respectively.

Find the complete list of top 50 universities in the world below, followed by the breakdown of the top five Canadian schools in 35 subject areas.

Top 50 Universities in the World – Overall Score

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  2. Harvard University, USA
  3. University of Cambridge, UK
  4. Stanford University, USA
  5. California Institute of Technology, USA
  6. University of Oxford, UK
  7. University College London, UK
  8. Imperial College London, UK
  9. ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland
  10. University of Chicago, USA
  11. Princeton University, USA
  12. National University of Singapore, Singapore
  13. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  14. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  15. Yale University, USA
  16. Johns Hopkins University, USA
  17. Cornell University, USA
  18. University of Pennsylvania, USA
  19. Kings College London, UK
  20. The Australian National University, Australia
  21. The University of Edinburgh, UK
  22. Columbia University, USA
  23. Ecole normal supérieure, France
  24. McGill University, Canada
  25. Tsinghua University, China
  26. University of California, Berkeley, USA
  27. University of California, Los Angeles, USA
  28. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
  29. Duke University, USA
  30. The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  31. University of Michigan, USA
  32. Northwestern University, USA
  33. The University of Manchester, UK
  34. University of Toronto, Canada
  35. London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  36. Seoul National University, South Korea
  37. University of Bristol, UK
  38. Kyoto University, Japan
  39. The University of Tokyo, Japan
  40. Ecole Polytechnique, France
  41. Peking University, China
  42. The University of Melbourne, Australia
  43. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
  44. University of California, San Diego, USA
  45. The University of Sydney, Australia
  46. The University of New South Wales, Australia
  47. The University of Queensland, Australia
  48. The University of Warwick, UK
  49. Brown University, USA
  50. University of British Columbia, Canada

Top 20 Universities in Canada

  1. McGill University
  2. University of Toronto
  3. University of British Columbia
  4. University of Alberta
  5. Université de Montreal
  6. McMaster University
  7. University of Waterloo
  8. The University of Western Ontario
  9. University of Calgary
  10. Queen’s University
  11. Simon Fraser University
  12. Dalhousie University
  13. University of Ottawa
  14. University of Victoria
  15. Laval University
  16. Concordia University
  17. Université du Quebec
  18. York University
  19. University of Saskatchewan
  20. University of Guelph

Top 5 Canadian Universities by Subject

Art & Design

  1. Emily Carr University of Art + Design, B.C.
  2. Concordia University, QB
  3. University of British Columbia, B.C.
  4. University of Toronto, ON

English Literature & Language

  1. University of Toronto, ON (#13)
  2. University of British Columbia, B.C. (#21)
  3. McGill University, QB (#31)
  4. University of Alberta, AB (#50)
  5. The University of Western Ontario, ON (#51-100)

History

  1. University of Toronto, ON (#18)
  2. McGill University, QB (#36)
  3. University of British Columbia, B.C. (#40)
  4. York University, ON (#51-100)
  5. Dalhousie University, NS (#101-500)

Linguistics

  1. McGill University, QB (#25)
  2. University of British Columbia, B.C. (#25)
  3. University of Toronto, ON (#31)
  4. Université de Montreal, QB (#101-150)
  5. University of Alberta, AB (#101-150)

Modern Languages

  1. University of Toronto, ON (#21)
  2. McGill University, QB (#34)
  3. University of British Columbia, B.C. (#49)
  4. Université de Montreal, QB (#51-100)
  5. McMaster University, ON (#101-150)

Philosophy

  1. University of Toronto, ON (#16)
  2. McGill University, QB (#33)
  3. University of British Columbia, B.C. (#41)
  4. The University of Western Ontario, ON (#48)
  5. McMaster University, ON (#51-100)

Architecture / Built Environment

  1. University of British Columbia (#20)
  2. University of Toronto (#36)
  3. McGill University (#51-100)
  4. University of Waterloo (#51-100)

Chemical Engineering

  1. University of Toronto (#32)
  2. McGill University (#42)
  3. University of Alberta (#51-100)
  4. University of British Columbia (#51-100)
  5. McMaster University (#101-150)

Civil & Structural Engineering

  1. University of British Columbia (#26)
  2. University of Toronto (#33)
  3. McGill University (#51-100)
  4. University of Alberta (#51-100)
  5. University of Waterloo (#51-100)

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

  1. University of Toronto (#27)
  2. McGill University (#51-100)
  3. University of British Columbia (#51-100)
  4. University of Waterloo (#51-100)
  5. Université de Montreal (#101-150)

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering

  1. University of Toronto (#34)
  2. McGill University (#39)
  3. University of British Columbia (#51-100)
  4. University of Waterloo (#51-100)
  5. McMaster University (#101-150)

Computer Science & Information Systems

  1. University of Toronto (#16)
  2. University of British Columbia (#24)
  3. University of Waterloo (#24)
  4. McGill University (#50)
  5. Simon Fraser University (#101-150)

Agriculture & Forestry

  1. University of British Columbia (#12)
  2. University of Guelph (#23)
  3. McGill University (#35)
  4. University of Alberta (#51-100)
  5. University of Saskatchewan (#51-100)

Biological Sciences

  1. University of Toronto (#17)
  2. McGill University (#34)
  3. University of British Columbia (#39)
  4. Université de Montreal (#101-150)
  5. University of Alberta (#101-150)

Dentistry

  1. University of British Columbia (#26)
  2. University of Toronto (#50)

Pharmacy & Pharmacology

  1. University of British Columbia (#29)
  2. University of Toronto (#30)
  3. University of Alberta (#31)
  4. McGill University (#51-100)
  5. Université de Montreal (#51-100)

Psychology

  1. University of Toronto (#18)
  2. University of British Columbia (#21)
  3. McGill University (#23)
  4. Queen’s University (#51-100)
  5. The University of Western Ontario (#51-100)

Veterinary Science

  1. University of Guelph (#4)
  2. Université de Montreal (#42)
  3. University of Saskatchewan (#47)

Physics & Astronomy

  1. University of Toronto (#34)
  2. University of British Columbia (#49)
  3. McGill University (#50)
  4. University of Waterloo (#101-150)
  5. McMaster University (#151-200)

Mathematics

  1. University of Toronto (#16)
  2. University of Waterloo (#20)
  3. University of British Columbia (#26)
  4. McGill University (#51-100)
  5. Université de Montreal (#51-100)

Environmental Sciences

  1. University of British Columbia (#12)
  2. McGill University (#43)
  3. University of Toronto (#43)
  4. University of Alberta (#51-100)
  5. University of Waterloo (#51-100)

Earth & Marine Sciences

  1. University of Toronto (#22)
  2. University of British Columbia (#24)
  3. McGill University (#48)
  4. University of Alberta (#51-100)
  5. Dalhousie (#101-150)

Chemistry

  1. University of Toronto (#24)
  2. McGill University (#30)
  3. University of Alberta (#51-100)
  4. University of British Columbia (#51-100)
  5. McMaster University (#101-150)

Materials Science

  1. University of Toronto (#38)
  2. McGill University (#47)
  3. McMaster University (#51-100)
  4. University of British Columbia (#51-100)
  5. Université de Montreal (#101-150)

Geography & Area Studies

  1. University of British Columbia (#6)
  2. University of Toronto (#11)
  3. McGill University (#42)
  4. University of Waterloo (#48)
  5. McMaster University (#51-100)

Accounting & Finance

  1. University of Toronto (#33)
  2. University of British Columbia (#35)
  3. McGill University (#48)
  4. University of Alberta (#51-100)
  5. Queen’s University (#101-150)

Business & Management Studies

  1. McGill University (#36)
  2. University of Toronto (#43)
  3. The University of Western Ontario (#51-100)
  4. Université de Montreal (#51-100)
  5. University of British Columbia (#51-100)

Communication & Media Studies

  1. McGill University (#51-100)
  2. Simon Fraser University (#51-100)
  3. Université de Montreal (#51-100)
  4. Université du Quebec (#51-100)
  5. Concordia University (#101-150)

Development Studies

  1. University of Toronto (#20)
  2. McGill University (#42)
  3. Carleton University (#51-100)
  4. Queen’s University (#51-100)
  5. University of Alberta (#51-100)

Economics & Econometrics

  1. University of Toronto (#25)
  2. University of British Columbia (#26)
  3. McGill University (#51-100)
  4. Queen’s University (#101-150)
  5. Simon Fraser University (#101-150)

Education

  1. University of Toronto (#17)
  2. University of British Columbia (#18)
  3. McGill University (#27)
  4. University of Alberta (#42)
  5. Concordia University (#101-150)

Law

  1. University of Toronto (#21)
  2. McGill University (#26)
  3. University of British Columbia (#33)
  4. York University (#51-100)
  5. Université de Montreal (#101-150)

Politics & International Studies

  1. University of Toronto (#27)
  2. McGill University (#33)
  3. University of British Columbia (#48)
  4. Université de Montreal (#51-100)
  5. Queen’s University (#101-150)

Sociology

  1. University of Toronto (#18)
  2. University of British Columbia (#39)
  3. McGill University (#51-100)
  4. Université de Montreal (#51-100)
  5. University of Waterloo (#51-100)

Statistics & Operational Research

  1. University of Toronto (#19)
  2. Université de Montreal (#33)
  3. McGill University (#35)
  4. University of British Columbia (#35)
  5. McMaster University (#51-100)

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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