Three Canadian universities land high scores on new global ranking

McGill University's campus is seen Tuesday, November 14, 2017 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

In the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings, only three Canadian universities made it into the top 50, with McGill University placing the highest.

The rankings are released yearly by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a U.K. based company which specializes in analyzing higher education and providing comparative data.

McGill University was number 31 on the 2023 list, scored an 81.9 out of 100 possible points.

University of Toronto wasn’t far behind, at 34 on the list, achieving a score of 81.5.

Rounding out the top three Canadian universities on the list was the University of British Columbia at number 47, with 77 points.

The top five universities in the world, according to QS, were Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.), University of Cambridge (U.K.), Stanford University (U.S.), University of Oxford (U.K.), and Harvard University (U.S.). This is the 11th year in a row that Massachusetts Institute of Technology has scored the top slot.

The entire list includes more than 1,400 universities from across the globe.

A press release stated that this year’s ranking is their “biggest ever,” covering 100 destinations in total “with the U.S., U.K. and mainland China the most-represented.”

Institutions are scored across several categories to create the final list. QS looks at the school’s reputation in academic contexts and from employers. They then look at the faculty to student ratio and the ratio of international to domestic students or faculty. Finally, they look at citations per faculty member to judge how high-quality and influential research coming out of the university is.

The next best performing Canadian universities to place between 100 – 200 on the list were University of Alberta at 110, Universite de Montreal at 116, McMaster University at 152, University of Waterloo 154, and Western University at 172. 

Following them up were University of Ottawa (237), University of Calgary (242), Queen’s University (246), Dalhousie University (308), Simon Fraser University (328), University of Victoria (359), Universite Laval, York University (456), University of Saskatchewan (473), all placing within the top 500.

QS first started releasing yearly rankings of the world’s universities in 2004.

This year’s ranking saw Canadian universities taking a stumble compared to last year's 2022 ranking, where University of Toronto placed 26 on the list, above McGill at 27, while UBC came in at 46 on the list.