U of A maintains strong showing in latest QS global university rankings

University makes gains in indicators of research excellence and faculty diversity amid new ranking measures and a competitive international field.


The University of Alberta maintained its strong position among the top universities worldwide in the latest QS World University Rankings, while making gains in key indicators of academic reputation and faculty diversity. (Photo: Richard Siemens)

The University of Alberta maintained its competitive position among the world’s top post-secondary institutions, bolstered by improvements in key indicators of the quality, quantity and impact of its research, according to the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

The U of A ranked 111th in the world and fourth in Canada in the 2024 QS rankings, in which nearly 3,000 universities were evaluated and the top 1,500 universities in 104 locations worldwide were ranked. 

“Our entire U of A community shares in the success of being recognized in the top eight per cent of the best universities in the world for research and teaching excellence by one of the most influential global rankings,” says U of A president Bill Flanagan.

“This achievement, along with other recent international rankings, reflects the strengths and contributions of our remarkable faculty, researchers and staff.”

The U of A’s highest-ranked indicator was in the international research network category, where it ranked 68th worldwide. This new indicator measures the number and diversity of productive research partnerships with universities around the world.

The university also rose four spots to place 135th in the world in the academic reputation category, which measures the quality and impact of research and accounts for 30 per cent of the overall ranking.

In terms of citations per faculty, which accounts for one-fifth of the overall ranking, the U of A rose 24 places to 213th globally. The U of A is home to some of the world’s most cited researchers in fields including electrical and computer engineering, physics, bioinformatics and genetics.

The U of A also rose 19 spots to rank 116th in the international faculty ratio indicator, which tracks institutions’ ability to attract international faculty to benefit diversity in research and teaching.

Strong performance in recent rankings

Earlier this month, the U of A was ranked seventh globally in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which measure post-secondary institutions’ performance in advancing the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. In particular, the U of A ranked first in Canada in three goals related to innovation, partnerships, and affordable and clean energy.

In the most recent subject-area rankings released by QS, 18 U of A subjects ranked in the top 100 internationally, with nursing and petroleum engineering listed as the best programs in Canada.

Last year, the U of A rose to fourth place in Canada in the U.S. News Best Global Universities Ranking, with 16 subject areas ranked within the global top 100.

The university’s excellence in gastroenterology and hepatology stood out in the U.S. News ranking, standing at 33rd in the world, along with agricultural sciences at 38th and food science and technology also ranking among the world’s top 50.

 The QS World University Rankings have been published since 2004 by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a global higher education consultancy. This year, QS took nine criteria into account for the rankings — academic reputation (30 per cent weighting), employer reputation (15), citations per faculty (20), faculty-student ratio (10), international faculty ratio (5), international students ratio (5), international research network (5), employment outcomes (5) and sustainability (5). 

QS analyzed 141.6 million citations and 17.5 million publications for this year’s rankings.