McMaster surges in latest global university rankings list

McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., saw its ranking jump 35 spots to No. 78 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018. Photo from CBC.

The University of Oxford is the world’s top-ranked university for 2018, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The publication behind the annual list released its rankings Tuesday, which includes more than 1,000 universities across 77 countries from all over the world.

Times Higher Education says it judges institutions based on teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook using 13 different performance indicators, including the number of PhDs awarded, the reputations of teachers and the number of international students.


The rankings feature two U.K. institutions at the top of the pack as the University of Cambridge sits at No. 2, right behind Oxford.

The California Institute of Technology and Stanford University are tied for third while the Massachusetts Institute of Technology rounds out the top five. Harvard University and Princeton University are sixth and seventh on the list, respectively.

The top nine schools ranked globally were from two countries: the U.K. (3) and the U.S. (6).

Canadian universities well represented

The highest-ranking Canadian school is the University of Toronto (U of T), which didn’t move from the No. 22 spot it held last year. U of T is now tied with the National University of Singapore in the world rankings. Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia moved up two spots to No. 34 and McGill University held steady at No. 42, keeping its spot from the previous list.

The Canadian university that saw the biggest change in their ranking was McMaster. The Hamilton, Ont., institution shot up the list from No. 113 last year to No. 78 for 2018.

McMaster University president Patrick Deane credits increased spending on leading researchers for the ranking boost, the Globe and Mail reports. Deane says these professionals publish their work internationally and share their findings with McMaster students, according to the newspaper.


Also on the list, the University of Montreal dropped five spots down to No. 108 while the University of Alberta fell 12 positions to No. 117.

This means six Canadian universities were ranked in the top 200 worldwide for 2018, which is the same number as France and Sweden.

Only seven countries globally have more institutions in the top 200 in the latest rankings, including the U.S. (62), the U.K. (31), Germany (20), the Netherlands (13), Australia (8), China (7) and Switzerland (7).