Survey ranks UBC tops for reputation

UBC claimed the top spot for best overall reputation among Canadian medical/doctoral universities, according to Maclean's magazine's annual ranking of Canadian universities.

According to the rankings, UBC's reputation for innovation is growing and the university remains very highly regarded by Canadians. Under the reputation heading of "most innovative," UBC took a big step up -- from fourth last year to second this year behind McMaster University. UBC also scored well in the reputation category under the heading "leaders of tomorrow" where it placed second to the University of Alberta.

The magazine bases its reputation results on a survey of more than 3,400 high school guidance counselors, academic administrators and chief executive officers of major corporations across Canada.

Top marks in the medical/doctoral category for overall ranking -- which measures factors such as class size, alumni support, operating budget and faculty awards -- went to the University of Toronto for the third consecutive year, followed by Queen's, McGill and UBC. UBC has placed fourth in the category for six consecutive years.

UBC President Martha Piper is featured in the issue's lead article, which draws attention to the Think About It campaign designed to raise awareness of UBC research and the university in general. The article, titled "Measuring Excellence," highlights Piper's emphasis on research-based learning and the rethinking of undergraduate education.

The article also draws attention to the financial challenges faced by Canadian universities and to the decline in government support of post-secondary education in Canada since 1993.

Among the criteria used to determine Maclean's overall ranking, UBC placed first in the percentage of faculty with PhDs and the number of social sciences and humanities grants received in addition to reputation. UBC ranked second in student awards, medical and science grants, and student services, and third in international graduate students and total library holdings.

Simon Fraser University was again ranked first in the comprehensive category which ranks 13 universities offering a range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The University of Victoria remained in third place in that category, after the University of Guelph.

The survey ranks universities on the composition and academic achievements of the student body, library resources, class size, percentage of tenured professors who teach first-year courses, calibre of faculty and success in securing research grants.