Canadian University Rankings 2020 - 2021

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Canadian University Rankings

When looking at rankings for Canadian or American universities, many people will wonder which list to focus on, the basis behind these rankings, how they reflect the university’s reputation, and the impact it can have on a student’s future university application and employment. If you have any doubts or concerns, please contact us immediately, and we’ll help you analyze the trend of Canadian university rankings, understand the hidden information and details behind the rankings, clear up your doubts, and apply for high-ranking universities with ease.

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USNews University Rankings, QS University Rankings, ARWU University Rankings, THE University Rankings, and Maclean's University Rankings are currently the world’s most recognized university rankings. These rankings reflect a comprehensive consideration of the education and cognition of each university from different perspectives, and each list’s criteria is slightly different from one another.

For example, USNews is more inclined toward North American schools, whereas Maclean’s focuses on Canadian universities. USNews and THE focus more on the academic research capabilities available in each institution, and QS evaluates the number of international students and faculty employed. All of these different factors affect how universities are ranked differently from list to list.

However, the quality of education, status, and value of a university should not be determined solely by how they are ranked worldwide. Prospective students should use these rankings as a reference for narrowing down which school to attend rather than selecting one based on how high they rank. Because of how each list is based on varying criteria, students should study which rankings best align with their interests, as well as take into account their own hobbies, future plans, aptitude test results, and other factors like majors or areas of interest to select the school that they believe they will excel best in.

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# Best Overall # Highest Quality # Most Innovative # Leaders of Tomorrow
1 Toronto 1 Toronto 1 Toronto 1 Toronto
2 UBC 2 McGill 2 Waterloo 2 UBC
3 Waterloo 3 UBC 3 UBC 3 McGill
4 McGill 4 Waterloo 4 McGill 4 Waterloo
5 McMaster 5 McMaster 5 McMaster 5 McMaster
6 Alberta 6 Queen's 6 Alberta 6 Alberta
7 Queen's 7 Western 7 Queen's 7 Montreal
8 Western 8 Alberta 8 Western 8 Calgary
9 Montreal 9 Dalhousie 9 Simon Fraser 9 Queen's
10 Simon Fraser 10 Montreal 10 Calgary 10 Simon Fraser
11 Calgary 11 Simon Fraser 11 Montreal 11 Ryerson
12 Dalhousie 12 Calgary 12 Guelph 12 Western
13 Guelph 13 Victoria 13 Dalhousie 13 Laval
14 Victoria 14 Guelph 14 Ryerson 14 Concordia
15 Ryerson 15 Ottawa 15 Victoria 15 Victoria
16 Laval 16 Laval 16 Concordia 16 York
17 Concordia 17 Concordia 17 Laval 17 Sherbrooke
18 Ottawa 18 Memorial 18 Sherbrooke 18 Guelph
19 Sherbrooke 19 Saskatchewan 19 Ottawa 19 Dalhousie
20 York 20 Ryerson 20 Saskatchewan 20 Saskatchewan
21 Saskatchewan 21 Wilfrid Laurier 21 York 21 Carleton
22 Memorial 22 York 22 Memorial 22 Ottawa
23 Carleton 23 Sherbrooke 23 Carleton 23 UQAM
24 Wilfrid Laurier 24 Carleton 24 Ontario Tech 24 Manitoba
25 UQAM 25 Mount Allison 25 Wilfrid Laurier 25 Wilfrid Laurier
26 Manitoba 26 UQAM 26 UQAM 26 Brock
27 St. Francis Xavier 27 Acadia 27 Manitoba 27 Ontario Tech
28 Acadia 28 Manitoba 28 St. Francis Xavier 28 Memorial
29 Mount Allison 29 St. Francis Xavier 29 Brock 29 Regina
30 New Brunswick 30 Saint Mary's 30 Acadia 30 Lethbridge
31 Ontario Tech 31 New Brunswick 31 New Brunswick 31 Acadia
32 Brock 32 Lethbridge 32 Saint Mary's 32 Trent
33 Saint Mary's 33 Bishop's 33 Lethbridge 33 Lakehead
34 Lethbridge 34 Brock 34 Regina 34 New Brunswick
35 Regina 35 Regina 35 Windsor 35 St. Francis Xavier
36 Trent 36 Trent 36 Mount Allison 36 UNBC
37 Bishop's 37 UPEI 37 Lakehead 37 Mount Allison
38 Windsor 38 Windsor 38 Trent 38 Saint Mary's
39 Lakehead 39 UNBC 39 UNBC 39 Windsor
40 UNBC 40 Ontario Tech 40 UPEI 40 Laurentian
41 UPEI 41 Lakehead 41 Bishop's 41 Winnipeg
42 Winnipeg 42 Winnipeg 42 Winnipeg 42 Bishop's
43 Moncton 43 Moncton 43 Laurentian 43 Cape Breton
44 Mount Saint Vincent 44 Mount Saint Vincent 44 Mount Saint Vincent 44 Brandon
45 Laurentian 45 Laurentian 45 Moncton 45 UPEI
46 Cape Breton 46 St.Thomas 46 Cape Breton 46 Moncton
47 St.Thomas 47 Cape Breton 47 Brandon 47 Nipissing
48 Brandon 48 Brandon 48 St.Thomas 48 Mount Saint Vincent
49 Nipissing 49 Nipissing 49 Nipissing 49 St.Thomas

Maclean’s Canadian University Ranking Criteria for 2021

About Maclean's

Maclean’s Magazine in Canada is published weekly, and its rankings are the oldest, most authoritative and influential in the country, having persisted since 1991. Similar to how USNews University Rankings are indispensable for American institutions, Maclean’s rankings are a great tool for students considering universities. In addition to evaluating universities’ academic performances, Maclean’s also evaluates research funding, diversity of courses offered, how comprehensive doctoral programs are, the university’s reputation, and alumni performance after graduation. All of these are used to create the most objective Canadian university ranking list in the country.

Maclean's Rating Basis

The university ranking is based on 5 fields and 13 performance indicators. It is also based on academic status (28%), scientific research level (20%), educational resources (22%), student support (15%), and the reputation of the school (15%).

Student Status (28%)
This is the best reference factor to measure a school’s academics, including: the proportion of students who have won academic awards/national scholarships in the past five years, teacher-student ratio, and student satisfaction.

Teaching and Research Level (20%)
The evaluation factors of teaching and research level include: the proportion of faculty and staff who have won major awards in the past five years, research grants received, and the rate of research publication and citation.

Educational Resources (22%)
The evaluation criteria for educational factors include: school teaching funds, school research funds, and school library operating funds.

Student Support (15%)
For students, scholarships are also one of the reference factors for whether to apply for a university, and Maclean's reference factors for this scoring are: student services, scholarships and grants.

School Reputation (15%)
School reputation is also one of the reference factors that need to be paid attention to in university applications.

Maclean's Summary

Maclean’s University Rankings is essential for students within the country or abroad, as it is a comprehensive list of the top institutions. Its ranking data comes from Statistics Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Scopus to ensure that the list is unbiased. It is also suited best for Canadian applications because of its singular focus on schools within the country, and does not make comparisons to institutions elsewhere.

QS World University Ranking Criteria for 2021

About QS

The QS University Ranking focuses on American institutions and is published by Quacquarelli Symonds, an international education market consulting company based in Britain. They were established in 1990 and operates internationally. Their main purpose is to provide academic support for undergraduates and graduate students, MBAs and on-the-job students around the world. The university ranking was recognized by the "IREG-Academic Ranking and Excellence International Association," established by the International Professional Group of University Rankings (IREG) in 2010, and is one of the most widely participating institutions and one of the world's widest rankings. The QS rankings use academic reputation, employer reputation, teacher-student ratio, research citation rate, and internationalization as the scoring criteria. Due to its open and transparent questionnaire survey format, it has been rated as one of the world’s most watched university rankings. In the 2021 QS World University Rankings, a total of 36 Canadian universities are on the list, as shown above.

QS Score Basis

QS evaluates 1,000 world-renowned universities around the world and has minimized unnecessary volatility to keep its ranking data valid for as long as possible. The 2020 university rankings were based on the following scoring criteria: academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), teacher-student ratio (20%), number of literature citations (20%), international faculty and staff ratio (5 %), and the proportion of international students (5%).

QS Summary

QS’s ranking is subjective and minimally considers academic ability. Although there are many subjective factors that make these rankings not entirely objective, the list still presents rankings that appeal to the public. This makes QS a favourite reference list for companies when hiring new applicants, and students.

Which ranking list should you use? Let us help you decide!

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