U of A has best-ever showing in global ranking of top universities

Latest CWUR rankings put the university at 77th in the world, highlighting outstanding quality of faculty and research.


The U of A ranked 77th in the world in the latest CWUR rankings, continuing an upward trend driven by strong showings in categories rating the quality of faculty and research. (Photo: Richard Siemens)

The University of Alberta had its best-ever showing in the Global 2000 list, moving further up in the top 100 to 77th in the world, according to the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) World University Rankings 2022-23, which also saw the U of A move up in a category rating the quality of its faculty.

“The U of A’s continued rise to 77th in the CWUR rankings is both testament to the excellence of our faculty and recognition of the influence, impact and reach we have globally,” said U of A president Bill Flanagan.

CWUR’s rankings are distinct in that they don’t incorporate any surveys, submissions or otherwise subjective data to determine the rankings. Instead, CWUR uses objective indicators to judge the four key pillars of what they consider a world-class university: education, employability, faculty and research. This year, CWUR ranked 19,788 universities worldwide to identify the top 2,000.

The U of A did particularly well in the quality of faculty category, moving up from 70th in 2021 to 67th in the world this year. Success in this category is determined by the amount of faculty members who have received major academic distinctions.

Highly cited researchers at the U of A are doing work in the fields of physical activity, genetics, computational biology and much more, providing varied expertise on a global scale. In addition to a Nobel laureate — Michael Houghton, who won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine — the U of A has 98 Canada Research Chairs who are international leaders in their respective areas.

The CWUR rankings also identified research as an area of strength for the U of A, which came in 87th in the world in that category. CWUR examines the total output of articles, the number of articles appearing in top-tier or highly influential journals, and the number of citations to determine the research category rank, which accounts for 40 per cent of an institution’s total rank.

“We take great pride in being members of a community that inspires and supports such important, relevant and groundbreaking research and scholarship,” said Flanagan.

The U of A maintained its position as 47th in North America and 4th in Canada in the CWUR rankings. The Canadian institutions in last year’s rankings — the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of British Columbia — were all within the top 50 globally.

The CWUR rankings follow on the U of A’s strong performance in the recent QS World University Rankings by Subject, which named the university as the top institution in Canada for nursing and petroleum engineering.

High QS rankings in particular areas highlight the quality of faculty as well, with anatomy and physiology rising from 34th to 21st in the world following Houghton’s Nobel Prize win, and sports-related subjects remaining at a position of 16th globally.

The U of A also landed in the top 100 globally in 18 subject areas according to the U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Ranking, with notable rankings in gastroenterology and hepatology (28th), cardiac and cardiovascular systems (57th), microbiology (72nd), surgery (78th) and oncology (88th).