Research Society and Culture Science and Technology

U of A ranked among world’s top 100 in research performance

Strength in agricultural, environmental and engineering research shows in latest NTU rankings based on scientific publications.

  • September 02, 2021
  • By Michael Brown

Bolstered by a strong showing in the field of agriculture, the University of Alberta landed in the top 100 of a world ranking that compares the scientific performance of universities based entirely on academic publications.

According to the 2021 NTU Ranking, calculated by National Taiwan University, the U of A ranked 91st globally—up one spot over last year—and fourth in Canada. The U of A has ranked in the world’s top 100 for the 15th year in a row.

The university produced its strongest outcomes in agriculture, garnering a 45th-place showing. It also landed in 94th in both social sciences and medicine.

The field of agriculture is further broken down into agricultural sciences—where the U of A had its strongest individual showing, finishing 34th and moving up 17 spots over last year—along with environment/ecology (61) and plant and animal science (73).

Stan Blade, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, said the university’s strength in agriculture comes from his faculty’s good fortune—and responsibility—to be at the centre of critical questions about agriculture, food, forestry, energy and the environment.

“These sectors are critical to the economy of Alberta, Canada and the world. It's the reason we get the strong support that we do from our partners and funders,” he said. “It's also the reason we get the large number of graduate students that we do, and that's what makes our research community so prolific."

Other subjects in which the U of A cracked the top 100 include biology and biochemistry (59), electrical engineering (59), chemical engineering (61), geoscience (70), computer science (78), clinical medicine (84), economics and business (86), and pharmacology and toxicology (92).

Areas of the ranking where the U of A broke out were in microbiology, jumping 12 spots over last year to land at 78th, and mechanical engineering, where the U of A lunged an incredible 23 spots over last year to rank 59th.

The NTU ranking compares the scientific performance of world universities based on academic publications from three perspectives─research productivity (25 per cent), research impact (35 per cent) and research excellence (45 per cent). This year, NTU offers the overall performance ranking along with six field-specific and 27 subject-specific rankings.

Ranked fourth in Canada, the U of A trailed only the universities of Toronto and British Columbia, and McGill University.

The NTU ranking follows on news in April that the U of A was ranked 81st by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)—up 20 spots from the previous year—and fourth in Canada.