McGill flag on buildingPlaces first in Canada in QS World University Rankings 2015/16
By McGill Reporter Staff

McGill ranks 24th in the world and first among Canadian universities, according to the widely followed QS World University Rankings 2015/16.

This is the 12th year in a row that Quacquarelli Symonds, based in London, England, has ranked McGill in the top 25 of the world’s universities.

Three Canadian universities figure in the top 50 this year, with McGill (24th) followed by the University of Toronto (34th) and the University of British Columbia (50th). Canada is also home to another top-100 university, the University of Alberta (96th).

“The McGill community continues to work hard, amid financial challenges, to remain one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning,” said Principal Suzanne Fortier. “Rankings are not an exact science, and different methodologies measure different things. But the various rankings provide, over time, useful reference points for an institution’s performance. Our continued strong showing in the QS World University Rankings is part of that overall picture.”

Last year, McGill was ranked 21st globally by QS, with University of Toronto just ahead at 20th and University of British Columbia at 43rd.

Ben Sowter, QS Head of Research, noted that “under this year’s refined methodology, some of Canada’s institutions face a year on year drop,” in their ranking. “Objectively, however, Canada performs very well with four institutions amongst the top 100. That’s the same as Germany, a country with more than double the population and GDP.”

The QS World University Rankings are based on four key pillars – research, teaching, employability and internationalization – and the methodology consists of six indicators: academic reputation (40 per cent), employer reputation (10 per cent), and faculty student ratio (20 per cent), citations per faculty (20 per cent), international students (5 per cent) and international faculty (5 per cent).

From this year, in response to students’ feedback and in consultation with its advisory board, QS said it has adopted an approach to normalize publication and research citation data across faculty areas. This reform accounts for the large volume of citations generated by researchers in the Life Sciences and, to a lesser degree, those in the Natural Sciences. “The modified approach to ‘citations per faculty’, a measure of research impact, has delivered fairer evaluations for universities with a strong profile in areas with lower research activity, such as arts, humanities and social sciences,” QS said in a news release.

Other rankings, including those of Times Higher Education and Maclean’s Magazine, will be made public in coming weeks.

See the full QS World University Rankings 2015/16
See how Canadian universities fared in the QS World University Rankings 2015/16
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