10/29/2015 10:05 EDT | Updated 10/30/2015 10:59 EDT

Maclean's University Rankings Place UNBC 1st Among Primarily Undergraduate Schools

Go north, young people.


Go north, young ones, if you want an education at Canada's best "primarily undergraduate" university.

Maclean's magazine has ranked the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) at number one out of 19 schools of its kind.

It's the first time in UNBC history that the school has achieved the top rank. And school president Dr. Daniel Weeks is ecstatic.

"It only confirms what most of the folks here in Prince George and in fact across the north already know," he told CBC News. "We're a great university with great programs, offering great opportunities for our young people in the north."

The category that UNBC topped includes schools that focus squarely on undergraduate studies, and don't have as many graduate courses or students as other schools do, Maclean's explained.

UNBC ranked ahead of institutions such as Trent University, The University of Lethbridge, Mount Allison University and Acadia University.

Schools are assessed on a series of criteria such as operating budget per full-time student, research money, awards available to students and the student-to-faculty ratio, said a UNBC news release.

The university ranked in the top five of all these categories. It also scored well in a student satisfaction survey that was new to the list this year.

UNBC placed near the top of primarily undergraduate schools before, coming second in 2008, 2012 and 2014, but it had never come in first.

And it wasn't the only B.C. school that sat up high in the Maclean's rankings.

The University of British Columbia came third in the medical/doctoral category, the biggest one in the Maclean's rankings, behind the University of Toronto and McGill University.

B.C.'s Simon Fraser University also topped the comprehensive category, which recognizes schools with heavy research activity and several undergraduate and graduate programs.

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