Less than a month after gaining their highest ever status on the QS World University Rankings, Canadian post-secondary institutions were dealt the opposite blow from another authority — Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings' list.
As reported by the Globe and Mail, Canadian schools dropped entirely out of the top 20 for THE for the first time since the list of 200 schools started in 2010. University of Toronto president David Naylor is particularly unhappy. "This is a case where standing still meant losing ground,” Dr. Naylor said to the Globe.
While QS once provided the methodology to THE for a joint publication, this partnership ended in 2010, resulting in the two separate lists. THE now works with Thomson Reuters on their own system, publishing rankings each fall.
The top three spots on THE's list for 2012-13 were taken by California Institute of Technology, University of Oxford and Stanford University. According to the site, rankings are based on 13 performance indicators, including research, teaching, knowledge transfer and international activity. Asian universities in particular rose sharply in the rankings this year.
In total, eight universities from across Canada made it onto the THE list: University of Toronto (#21), University of British Columbia (#30), McGill University (#34), University of Montreal (#84), McMaster University (#88), University of Alberta (#121), University of Ottawa (#171) and University of Victoria (#196).
But the news wasn't all taken so negatively. For the University of Ottawa, which made it onto the list for the second year in a row, 2012 marked an increase of 14 places.
“This achievement truly reflects the progress the University has made,” said Allan Rock, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa, in a press release.“The past year has been marked by several milestones that are pivotal as the University of Ottawa forges its path on the international scene.”
Andrew Boggs, former senior policy adviser to the government of Ontario and current visiting fellow at the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, noted in THE's analysis, "Canada is not known for encouraging individual excellence. Collectivism is in our blood."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the top three schools as Harvard University, California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These were the top schools in 2010-11. Our apologies for any confusion.
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