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A Ranking Of The Best Universities In The World Dropped & These Canadian Schools Made The Cut

Three usual suspects ranked highest among Canadian institutions.

The exterior of a University of Toronto building wrapped in vine leaves. Right: The exterior the McGill University campus in Montreal.

The exterior of a University of Toronto building wrapped in vine leaves. Right: The exterior the McGill University campus in Montreal.

A new ranking of the best universities in the world was released earlier this month, and in addition to a number of Quebec institutions shining through, nearly 20 other Canadian universities managed to make the cut.

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking, dropped its 2023 university ranking, showcasing the best schools across the globe. The publication first began back in 2003, and with two decades worth of rankings under its belt, the Shanghai Ranking is now among the most well-known university rankings alongside Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education.

The 2023 ranking measured 2,500 global institutions, with the ARWU publishing the top 1000. Universities were ranked on several academic and research performance indicators, including the quality of education, quality of faculty, research output and per capita performance.

For every indicator, the highest-scoring institution is designated a value of 100, while the scores of other institutions are then calculated as proportions relative to this top score. Harvard (100), Stanford University (74.8), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT — 69.1) made up the top three best universities globally.

When it comes to the best universities in Canada, the University of Toronto (UofT) took centre stage. The school earned an overall score of 39.7 — ranking highest in subjects such as sociology, medical technology and psychology.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) landed second among Canadian universities with an overall score of 32.7. UBC's best-ranked subjects include geography, transport science and technology, and ecology.

As for third place in Canada, Montreal's very own McGill University was recognized — receiving an overall score of 28.9. The Montreal-based university ranked best in subjects such as public health, geography, and dentistry and oral sciences.

Considering UofT, UBC and McGill are often considered the best of the best in Canada, it's perhaps no surprise the country's academic trinity managed to secure the top three spots yet again.

The University of Alberta landed fourth, with an overall score of 26 while McMaster University rounded off the top five, receiving a score of 25.1

Of the 25 Canadian universities to make the ranking, nine reign from Ontario, six from Quebec, three from British Columbia, and two from both Saskatchewan and Alberta. Newfoundland, Halifax and Manitoba made the cut with just one university each.

Wondering which Canadian institutions were listed? Here's the top 25 of the best universities in Canada according to the Shanghai Ranking:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. McGill University
  4. University of Alberta
  5. McMaster University
  6. Université de Montréal
  7. University of Waterloo
  8. Queen's University
  9. The University of Calgary
  10. University of Manitoba
  11. University of Ottawa
  12. Dalhousie University
  13. Université Laval
  14. Simon Fraser University
  15. University of Saskatchewan
  16. University of Victoria
  17. Western University
  18. York University
  19. Carleton University
  20. Concordia University
  21. University of Guelph
  22. Université de Sherbrooke
  23. Memorial University of Newfoundland
  24. University of Regina
  25. Université de Quebec à Montreal
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