University of Toronto ranked in the top 20 best universities in the world

Daily Brew

University students often have pretty strong feelings about their school being the best. Today, University of Toronto students are going to have some additional bragging rights.

An annual survey called The Times Higher Education World University Rankings has released its list of the best schools worldwide, and U of T makes it in to the top 20. At number 19, it's the highest-ranking school in the country.

U of T is far from the only school to make it into the top 200 list, though. Canada has the fifth-most schools out of any country in the world (the U.S. easily tops the list with 75, followed by the U.K. with 32, then the Netherlands and Germany who tie with 12).

The nine schools in Canada that place in the top 200 are predominantly based in Ontario (Number 65 McMaster, 173 Queen's University and 185 University of Ottawa) but other provinces make solid showings on the list.

B.C. makes it with the University of British Columbia (22) and the University of Victoria (177), while Montreal is the only city with two schools in the rankings, McGill University (28) and University of Montreal (104). As the lone representative from the Prairies, the University of Alberta makes the middle of the pack at 100.

The University of Toronto is no stranger to these rankings, having appeared last year at number 17. McMaster, Alberta and Montreal all improved in the rankings, while Victoria fell 47 places.

It was the first year Queens and Ottawa have appeared in the rankings. Two Canadian universities fell out of the top 200 ranking, as Dalhousie and Simon Fraser universities slipped to between 226 and 250 in the top 400 (THE doesn't rank specifically past 200, only giving general placements of the schools).

Despite the fall, U of T president David Naylor remains positive about the results.

"These results are encouraging," said Naylor in a press release. "Whatever one thinks of the science - or lack thereof - in university rankings, they are here to stay, and the more Canadian universities that do well the better."

Phil Baty, editor of the rankings, has an equally optimistic outlook for Canadian schools.

"Like many countries, Canada's universities have been hit with funding problems, but this strong showing has been helped by some methodological improvements this year, and gives hope for the future," he said in a Globe and Mail article. "In particular, Canada looks well poised to compete for a greater share of the ever-growing international student market."

The rankings are based on 13 different elements, which are grouped into five categories: teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook. THE collects data from more than 50 experts from 15 different countries, who weigh each of the various elements to get an overall ranking score.

The other big story of these rankings is the fall of Harvard from the top of the list for the first time since the organization began publishing the rankings eight years ago. It was surpassed by the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), falling to second place.

(CBC Photo)