McGill places among world’s top universities

Rated first in Canada, 19th globally in QS; 35th in THE world rankings

By McGill Reporter Staff

A pair of high-profile university rankings have reaffirmed McGill’s position among the top institutions of higher learning around the globe.

McGill placed among the top 25 universities for the seventh consecutive year in the QS World University Rankings, released earlier this month. And the just-released Times Higher Education World University Rankings list McGill 35th among the world’s top 200 schools.

McGill’s 19th place listing in the 2010 QS rankings is again the highest of any Canadian university. In the past three years, McGill has placed 20th, 18th and now 19th in these rankings.

“We are tremendously gratified to be recognized consistently as one of the world’s leading universities,” said Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum. “This terrific result reflects the broad strengths, superb talents and dedicated efforts of our faculty, students, staff and alumni.

“It is important to note that McGill has managed to maintain its standing despite a growing funding gap between us and the universities around the world with which we compete.”

QS World University Rankings was launched in 2004, with QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. serving as the data supplier for Times Higher Education magazine from that year through 2009. The rankings have gained broad recognition among students, academics and researchers around the world. For its seventh year of rankings in 2010, QS has produced its ratings in association with partners including US News & World Report and Scopus, the Elsevier database.

The partnership between Times Higher Education (THE) and QS ended after the 2009 rankings. THE now partners with Thomson Reuters to produce its annual university rankings based on a new methodology. In all, it includes 13 separate performance indicators, across five broad categories:

• Teaching – the learning environment – 30 per cent

• Citation impact – a normalized measure of research influence – 32.5 per cent

• Research – volume, income and reputation – 30 per cent

• International mix – staff and student ratios – 5 per cent

• Industry income – measuring knowledge transfer – 2.5 per cent

“Being ranked 35 in the world top 200 is an impressive achievement,” said Ann Mroz, editor of the Times Higher Education. “The top 200 universities in the world represent only a tiny fraction of world higher education and any institution that makes it into this table is truly world class.”

At press time The Reporter did not have complete Times Higher results.

The QS ratings include the following indicators: Academic Peer Review (40 per cent); Employer/Recruiter Review (10 per cent), Student-Faculty Ratio (20 per cent); Citations per Faculty (20 per cent); and International Factors 5 per cent each.

In the 2010 QS rankings, McGill placed among the top 35 schools in Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Technology, Life Sciences & Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

“This performance highlights the University’s strengths across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines – strengths on which we continue to build through increasing interdisciplinary collaboration among our Faculties,” Prof. Munroe-Blum said.

Faculty of Law gets top ranking

For the first time since Maclean’s magazine began ranking Canadian law schools in 2007, one school is perched in the Top Three of both the common and civil law school lists. The magazine’s annual compilation, which separates its common law rankings from its civil law rankings, placed McGill’s Faculty of Law third among common law schools across the country – and at the top of the ranking of civil law schools.

“The story behind the numbers here points to the unique character of McGill’s program,” said Dean of Law Daniel Jutras. “Our curriculum brings together common and civil law traditions in a fully integrated program of legal studies and our students graduate with a dual BCL/LLB degree that allows them to pursue careers in law and public service not only across Canada but also in parts of the U.S., Europe and around the world.”

This is the first year McGill has appeared in the civil law school rankings.