What are the best three universities in Canada?

As the academic year unfolds with its perennial promise of discoveries and scholastic achievements, three Canadian bastions of higher education have soared to impressive heights in the global arena. The QS World University Rankings for 2024 have rolled out their red carpet to honor the crème de la crème of academic institutions worldwide. Among the global giants, it’s a moment of pride for Canada as three of its universities clinch coveted spots in this prestigious list.

In this blog, we will discuss the best three universities in the world in Canada ranked by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Quacquarelli Symonds is one of the most trusted evaluators in analyzing higher education institutions worldwide.

What are the best three universities in Canada?

What are the QS’ World University Rankings?

Here is a simplified version of how QS ranks world universities using five key points:

  1. How well-known a university is for teaching and research (40%): This is figured out by asking many people who work at universities.
  2. How many instructors are there for each student (20%): universities with fewer students for each instructor and smaller classes do better because QS thinks smaller groups help students learn better together.
  3. How often people cite instructors’ research (20%): This counts how often other papers mention research by instructors from a university in the past five years. It’s used to show if the university is trusted for its research.
  4. What employers think (10%): Companies around the world are asked to list up to 40 universities they think are good at preparing students for jobs.
  5. How many instructors and students are from other countries (10%): universities with more teachers and students from around the world do better. Each part counts for half of this percentage, and the numbers are checked if possible.

What are the results of QS World University Rankings 2024?

The QS World University Rankings for 2024 have recently highlighted three Canadian universities as global leaders in education. These institutions, located in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia — provinces known for their popularity among newcomers to Canada — have earned places within the top 34 universities worldwide.

It’s important to note that in the latest QS rankings, which assess over 1,400 institutions globally, the top score attainable is 100.

In the sections that follow for each of the three Canadian schools, we will present not only their overall ranking but also their performance across the five critical metrics used by QS in their evaluation process.

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Top 3 universities in Canada ranked by QS World University Rankings 2024

In the following, we will discuss each university with its ranking and performance:

21: The University of Toronto (UofT) has attained an overall score of 86.3.

Rising to the 21st spot in the 2024 edition of QS’ World University Rankings from its previous 34th place in 2023, the University of Toronto stands as the premier university in Canada on the list. With exceptional recognition for its academic and employer standing, alongside notable international faculty and student presence, UofT operates three campuses across Ontario. It is celebrated globally as a leading institution of higher learning.

This placement marks the University of Toronto’s most commendable QS ranking since it achieved 20th in 2015.

  • Academic Reputation: 99.7
  • Faculty/Student Ratio: 54.2
  • Citations per Faculty: 57.2
  • Employer Reputation: 96
  • International Faculty Ratio: 95.7
  • International Student Ratio: 96.4

30: McGill University (overall score: 83.7)

Previously at 31st in the 2023 QS rankings, McGill University now boasts a position within the top 30, maintaining a consistent performance in the upper echelons since 2012. The university, with its two campuses in Quebec, has received accolades for its outstanding academic environment, employer credibility, and global faculty and student representation, scoring above 87.5 in these categories for 2024.

  • Academic Reputation: 93.7
  • Faculty/Student Ratio: 64
  • Citations per Faculty: 62.1
  • Employer Reputation: 87.6
  • International Faculty Ratio: 88.9
  • International Student Ratio: 93.3

34: The University of British Columbia (overall score: 81.5)

Leaping similar to UofT’s, the University of British Columbia (UBC) ascended from 47th to 34th place in the 2024 QS World University Rankings. Recognized for its robust academic reputation, attractiveness to employers, and strong international faculty metrics, UBC serves students on its two campuses located in Vancouver and Kelowna within the province.

This year’s ranking is UBC’s best to date, surpassing its previous highest rank of 43rd.

  • Academic Reputation: 98.2
  • Faculty/Student Ratio: 44.4
  • Citations per Faculty: 57
  • Employer Reputation: 93.5
  • International Faculty Ratio: 96.4
  • International Student Ratio: 74.1

Choosing the “best” university, however, transcends mere rankings; it’s about finding the right fit for an individual’s aspirations, field of study, and personal preferences. Prospective students are encouraged to delve deeper into what each university offers, considering location, campus culture, and specific programs and faculties, to make an informed decision tailored to their unique goals.

As Canada continues to shine on the global academic stage, its top universities not only reflect the country’s educational prowess but also its commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders, innovators, and thinkers. Whether you’re drawn to the historic halls of McGill, the dynamic community at U of T, or the natural and academic splendor of UBC, Canada’s top universities offer experiences and opportunities as vast and varied as the country itself.

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