U of A ranks 111th in 2024 QS global institution rankings

"I do think there's good news for the U of A. We continue to sustain our rank in the world," U of A President Bill Flanagan says.

The University of Alberta was ranked 111th internationally and fourth in Canada by the 2024 QS World University Rankings. The rankings evaluated 3,000 institutions, and featured the top 1,500 across 104 locations.

A university’s rank is based on its overall score from nine indicators. The U of A’s highest-scoring indicator was the international faculty ratio category, which scored a 97.9. The lowest-scoring indicator was the employer reputation category, which scored 36.5. The U of A scored 58.3 overall. In last year’s rankings, the U of A ranked 110th with an overall score of 56.9.

“I do think there’s good news for the U of A. We continue to sustain our rank in the world,” U of A President and vice-chancellor Bill Flanagan said.

“[The rankings] capture some of the great work that’s happening at the U of A. I’m very proud of where we stand. I do think there’s opportunities for us to grow and improve in the rankings, as we grow as a university and continue to have even greater research impact around the world.”

U of A’s ranking strategy is putting its “best foot forward” with citations, international partnerships, and reputation

The U of A’s second-highest scoring indicator was the international research network category, which scored 92.1 and ranked 68th worldwide. Flanagan explained that this indicator looks at the diversity of a university’s global research partnerships.

“This includes things like the work we’re doing with the Mexican Energy Sector, our work with the Indian Institutes of Technology, our longstanding research ties with China. These are all areas in which the U of A has demonstrated its international reach,” Flanagan said.

The U of A scored a 59.1 in the citations per faculty category, ranking at 213th worldwide — which is 24 spots higher than last year’s QS rankings. Flanagan said that the U of A has been “more conscientious about how we collect and report citations.”

“There’s a lot of different disciplines and many different citations to capture. It’s what we call our ranking strategy. That is to put our best foot forward in terms of the citations, the international partnerships, [and] our reputation,” Flanagan said.

“Of course, you don’t jump 24 spots unless you’ve got great researchers doing great work that are being cited in top journals around the world.”

In the academic reputation category, the U of A ranked 135th worldwide with an overall score of 56.8. Flanagan said that this ranking is a “powerful indication of our research output.”

“We’re very ambitious to grow our enrolment by 35 per cent — over 60,000 students — by 2030,” Flanagan says

The QS rankings placed the U of A as fourth in Canada. According to Flanagan, there are ongoing efforts toward improving the university’s national rank, such as enrolment growth.

“We’re very ambitious to grow our enrolment by 35 per cent — over 60,000 students — by 2030. As we grow our enrolment, we will have the resources to continue to invest in faculty and research. We’re setting an ambitious target to rank among the top three in Canada by 2030, and top 50 in the world,” Flanagan said.

“It’s hugely ambitious. But with enrolment growth and continuing the research trajectory that we’re on, I think we can do it.”

According to Flanagan, there are two main approaches for enrolment growth. For domestic enrolment, Flanagan said that collaboration with the Government of Alberta is needed.

“We need to partner with the Government of Alberta because tuition doesn’t cover the cost of education. We will be putting in a budget proposal to the government for the upcoming budget discussions, which will culminate in the budget release of February of next year,” Flanagan said.

He added that the university will continue building on targeted enrolment investments that the government has made.

Secondly, Flanagan said that there are opportunities to continue growing international enrolment.

“Edmonton is very livable [and] affordable, much more so than Toronto or Vancouver. Not to mention the great student experience, a beautiful campus, and outstanding programs and research. We need to tell that story and bring even more students to share in what we do at the U of A.”

Lily Polenchuk

Lily Polenchuk is the 2024-25 Editor-in-Chief of The Gateway. She previously served as the 2023-24 Managing Editor, 2023-24 and 2022-23 News Editor, and 2022-23 Staff Reporter. She is in her second year, studying English and political science.

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