Life on Campus / Spring 2010
What Rankings Reveal

Global surveys place U of T among top universities worldwide in academic and research strength


Photo by William KimberThe University of Toronto’s academic and research performance is considered among the best in the world – and the best in Canada – according to a spate of prestigious international rankings announced last fall.

U of T ranked 27th, the best of any Canadian university, in Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s annual Academic Ranking of World Universities. The report analyzes 1,200 universities on research output, the quality of faculty and the quality of education.

U of T placed 11th overall – also tops for a Canadian university – in a ranking that measures the performance of scientific papers for world universities. The ranking, which was compiled by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan, measures the productivity, impact and excellence of published scientific papers. Five hundred universities around the world are evaluated annually.

And finally, U of T is the world’s ninth strongest university as judged by academics at other institutions around the world. The finding was released as part of the Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings.

The Times survey asked 9,000 academics to rank by reputation 621 universities worldwide (not including their own). For the second year in a row, U of T placed in the top 10 – alongside top private universities in the United States and elite universities in Europe and Asia.

The Times also asked academics to rank universities’ performance in specific fields. U of T stood out on these measures as well, placing within the top 15 worldwide in all major fields surveyed – one of the few universities to do so.

The Times survey placed U of T 29th overall in an aggregate ranking, which is heavily influenced by how universities choose to report faculty numbers. In its total faculty count, U of T includes part-time instructors but weights them to reflect their part-time status. Some peer institutions, by contrast, submit unadjusted head counts, and thereby boost their scores.

“Very few publicly funded universities reach this level anywhere in the world,” says U of T president David Naylor. “This is a measure of our faculty’s relentless focus on academic excellence and discoveries of global rank as well as the wonderful calibre of our students.”

“U of T’s global strength is the breadth of our leadership,” Naylor added. “Many research universities build their reputation on one or two areas of strength.”


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