The University of Alberta has seen a rise in ranking in multiple university and subject rankings. The university was ranked fourth in Canada, according to the U.S. News 2022-23 Best Global Universities Rankings. In the Maclean’s 2023 Canadian University Rankings, the U of A had five subjects place in the top six nationally.
16 U of A subjects ranked in the world’s top 100 in U.S. News ranking
The U of A saw multiple subjects increase in ranking in the U.S. News Best Global Universities Rankings. From the college of health sciences, gastroenterology and hepatology led the U of A in subject rankings for the second year in a row, ranking third in Canada and 33rd globally.
The university also climbed to 55th in cardiovascular systems, and to 63rd in microbiology. Surgery and clinical medicine ranked in the top 100 at 81st and 83rd, respectively.
Other notable rankings from the college of natural and applied sciences include artificial intelligence at 52nd, plant and animal science at 76th, mechanical engineering at 77th, and polymer science at 99th. Subjects with tied rankings include engineering at 85th, environment/ecology at 75th, geosciences at 97th, and computer science at 100th.
Agricultural sciences also improved, climbing from 58th in the previous year, to 38th. Food science and technology was ranked at 48th.
Five U of A subjects ranked top six in Maclean’s rankings
In the Maclean’s 2023 Canadian University Rankings, five U of A subjects were ranked in the top six nationally. These subjects include nursing, education, computer science, engineering, and business.
The Maclean’s rankings placed nursing third, education third, and business sixth. Engineering and computer science were both ranked fifth.
The rankings are based on 12 performance indicators in the five key areas of students, faculty, resources, student support, and reputation. The U of A placed in the top 10 in Canada for all indicators.
U of A president said rise in rankings is great news
Bill Flanagan, president of the U of A, said the rise in rankings is great news and that he was “enormously proud.”
“To see global recognition, to continue to grow, is something that I think we can all be really proud of at U of A,” Flanagan said.
The president noted that the increase in rankings was a collective effort. He said that the rankings reflect the global impact the university has had in research.
“This very much reflects the strength of our faculty, our staff, our students, our reputation with employers, [and our work] with research institutions around the world.”
One reason the rankings are important is that it indicates the university is being increasingly recognized around the world, Flanagan said. The increase in rankings also helps to attract people to the university.
“Donors want to support a great university, students want to come to a great university, faculty want to join a great university, staff want to work at a great university.”
Flanagan said that the U of A has a “much more centralized capacity” to tell its story due to more centralized administrative services and the “one university vision.” The one university vision is an aspect of the U of A’s institutional strategic plan For the Public Good.
“We definitely want [the U of A] to be easily recognized, easily identified. We don’t want to be talking with 25 different brands.”
Flanagan expecting upward trend in global rankings to continue
The U of A’s prospects to continue increasing in global rankings is “really, really strong,” said Flanagan. The president hopes to continue to grow enrolment and to share the U of A’s story externally “with not only … partners across Canada, but really around the world.”
In recent years, the U of A declined in some rankings such as the QS World University Rankings, where the university ranked 90th in 2018 and dropped to 126th in 2022. However, the U of A is now seeing an upward trend in the QS rankings, and was ranked 110th in 2023.
“The last two years have been very, enormously challenging for the university with the financial challenges, of [the pandemic],” Flanagan said. “So that we’re seeing all of these encouraging trends in global rankings is a great, great significance.”
Flanagan said that in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, most Canadian universities besides U of A decreased in ranking, with the exception of the University of Toronto which held their position. In those rankings, the U of A increased from 125th in 2022 to 118th in 2023.
“I think that’s also really significant that amid the cuts, amid COVID-19, we were actually able to improve our rankings when most of our peer institutions in Canada did not.”
Flanagan thanked students as they are a “big part of this story.”
“I’m just really grateful to the enormously talented students that we have … it fills me with pride every time I meet another really talented, remarkable student who is doing amazing things.”