Canadian universities are falling behind their international counterparts, says a new report on university rankings.
While the University of Toronto retained its 20th place spot on the list of top 200 schools compiled this year by university ratings company Times Higher Education, all other Canadian universities fell. Though many dropped by only a few places, some like the University of Alberta were knocked down 15 spots.
Others, such as the University of WIndsor, Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art and Design University didn’t even place on the list, based on 13 performance indicators including research, teaching environment and international outlook.
Times Higher Education has been putting out rankings for the past 11 years in conjunction with another organization ranking universities, Quacquarelli Symonds. After years of collaboration, the two organizations separated and released their own lists.
Like the Times Higher Education list, Quacquarelli Symonds’ gave UofT its top ranking of any Canadian university when it released its list in mid-September.
Meanwhile, the Times Higher Education rankings lauded Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton Universities with top spots alongside an increasing number of Asian schools that have climbed the ranks.
“Competition in the global knowledge economy is intensifying, and Canada needs to invest and work hard to stay competitive against the rising nations of East Asia,” said rankings editor Phil Baty, who called Canada’s showing “poor.”
The rankings and their editor didn’t just have harsh words and results for Canada.
They noted that while the U.S. continued to dominate the list, the country “lost significant ground” and as a nation “suffered an average fall of 5.34 rankings places.” Publically funded U.S. universities were hit with the worst losses because 60 per cent of them fell from their 2013-2014 rankings, the report said.
Baty attributed the losses to Western institutions being “starved of vital public funding, while East Asian schools pick up even more prominent support from government.
“There is much talk of a power shift from East to West, but these new world university rankings provide hard evidence of the phenomenon,” he said.
Though the report featured schools from 28 countries, nations such as Brazil, India, Greece, Portugal and Thailand still failed to place.