U of T ranks third outside US


Newsweek and The Daily Beast placed the University of Toronto third in the list of the top 104 universities outside the US last week.

Beat out only by Cambridge and Oxford, U of T was the first Canadian university on the list. The scores were calculated by averaging the rankings from the UK’s Times Higher Education, China’s Shanghai Report Consultancy, and the Spain-based Webometerics.

Both THE and SRC rely heavily on research and the publication of scientific articles by staff and alumni in their rankings. In 2008, U of T’s research income was $8.5 billion and it published 8,398 articles, so it comes as no surprise that U of T ranked third in the world and first in Canada.

THE also takes into account innovation, reputation, and staff-to-student ratio. They ranked U of T fifth out of the 104 schools in the ranking and 17th overall in the world.

Similarly, SRC also collects data on the number of Nobel laureates (U of T has 10), Fields Medals, and per capita academic performance. They ranked U of T eighth out of 104 and 26th in the world.

Webometerics takes a different perspective, quantifying a university’s presence on the Internet by measuring the number of hits on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the number of external links to U of T websites, and the number of files and scholarly articles published. They ranked U of T fourth out of 104 and 32nd in the world. Webometrics recalculates scores every January and July.

QS also released their university rankings two weeks ago, placing U of T 23rd in the world, up from 29th last year. The category that ranked highest was Arts and Humanities.

The Newsweek rankings do not take into account the student experience when calculating their scores. Student satisfaction, health, success, and teaching experience are not included in the score calculation. Because these scores are so research-based, they have little meaning for those pursuing undergraduate studies.

Maclean’s, which incorporates student support, financial aid, access to professors, and student-to-professor ratio, compensates scores for schools with medical research institutes, whose resources may artificially inflate scores. The Maclean’s 21st annual university rankings will be released in November.