Global science ranking results surprise

Universities from some provinces outperform in Leiden Ranking

A new global ranking that shows the degree of impact scientists at 750 universities had on the most important journals from 2009 to 2013 includes 28 Canadian schools.

While our top three entries won’t surprise many, the success of one province will.

The CWTS Leiden Ranking offers multiple measures of scientific research quality and output but most important is the PP(top 10%), which considers the proportion of publications from a university that made it into the top 10 per cent of the most frequently cited journals (think Nature and Science). The top 100 list is dominated by U.S. and U.K. universities with multiple entries from Switzerland, Netherlands and France, and one each from Canada, Israel, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and Singapore.

In Canada, the University of Toronto (87), University of British Columbia (109) and McGill University (119) come out on top, as can expected in global rankings. However, there is at least one surprise, which is that Quebec’s francophone universities—Sherbrooke, UQAM, Laval and Montréal—fare much better than they tend to in the Times Higher Education world rankings and the Maclean’s University Rankings.

Perhaps that’s because the Maclean’s and Times rankings look beyond scientific output to include things that impact undergraduates more, like student-to-faculty ratios, student support budgets, libraries and reputations. While Quebec’s universities receive the lowest per student funding (including provincial grants and tuition), its researchers are better funded on average than their counterparts in other provinces at $187,045 per full-time faculty member in 2010-11 compared to $160,816 in Ontario, $152,645 in British Columbia and as low as $54,318 in New Brunswick, according to the CAUT Almanac. Quebec researchers were out funded only by those in Alberta, who averaged $191,049 each. Alberta’s universities also land high up on the Leiden list.

Here are the 28 Canadian schools in the Leiden Ranking along with how they fared in the Maclean’s ranking of 49 schools, which are placed in one three categories, Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive and Primarily Undergraduate, in part to recognize the research funding differences. No Primarily Undergraduate school made the list.


Canadian Leiden Ranking University Global Leiden Ranking PP(top 10%) Maclean's Ranking (category)
1 Toronto 87 13.80% 3 (Medical Doctoral)
2 British Columbia 109 13.10% 2 (Medical Doctoral)
3 McGill 119 12.90% 1 (Medical Doctoral)
4 Victoria 183 11.70% 1 (Comprehensive)
5 Ottawa 185 11.70% 8 (Medical Doctoral)
6 McMaster 188 11.60% 6 (Medical Doctoral)
7 Calgary 228 11.20% 9 (Medical Doctoral)
8 Sherbrooke 235 11.00% 15 (Medical Doctoral)
9 UQAM 243 11.00% 14 (Comprehensive)
10 Simon Fraser 267 10.50% 2 (Comprehensive)
11 Waterloo 276 10.50% 3 (Comprehensive)
12 Montréal 285 10.30% 11 (Medical Doctoral)
13 Laval 301 10.10% 13 (Medical Doctoral)
14 Manitoba 322 9.90% 14 (Medical Doctoral)
15 Queen's 324 9.90% 4 (Medical Doctoral)
16 Alberta 330 9.80% 5 (Medical Doctoral)
17 Dalhousie 350 9.60% 7 (Medical Doctoral)
18 York 352 9.60% 9 (Comprehensive)
19 Western 374 9.30% 9 (Medical Doctoral)
20 Polytechic Montréal 376 9.30% 11* (Medical Doctoral)
21 Guelph 421 8.70% 5 (Comprehensive)
22 Memorial 424 8.60% 5 (Comprehensive)
23 Carleton 445 8.40% 7 (Comprehensive)
24 Concordia 449 8.40% 13 (Comprehensive)
25 Windsor 527 7.40% 10 (Comprehensive)
26 Ryerson 549 7.10% 10 (Comprehensive)
27 Saskatchewan 578 6.80% 12 (Medical Doctoral)
28 New Brunswick 592 6.60% 4 (Comprehensive)

*Polytechic Montréal is ranked as part of the Université de Montréal by Maclean’s.




Browse

Global science ranking results surprise

  1. This is less of a surprise to those of us who’ve done research at these underrated universities. We have to compete for research funding and scholarships like in any other Canadian university, and publication in high-impact (english-language) journals is key.

Sign in to comment.