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U15 group of Canadian research universities

Looking for a Canadian research university? Consider U15

Initially established in 1980 with a group of five Ontario-based universities, the U15 is now a group of 15 Canada’s most research-intensive universities. While each university has its own research and education mandate, the group aims to create a sustainable higher education environment, foster development and delivery of long-term projects besides contributing to the framing of research policy in Canada and across the world. The Directorate of the group works for the collective interest of all its members.

U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities


Role of U15 universities

The U15 basically creates a progressive research environment where universities can continue to make ground-breaking research by: 

  • Making the best use of the benefits of university-based research excellence;

  • Working at a federal level with the policymakers to improvise conditions of fundamental research;

  • Make high-impact data products and conduct university research for internal and external audiences;

  • Connect leading experts from all fields with the ones seeking expertise to analyse public policy or news; 

  • Engage in research collaborations with industry, government, public sector, and other partners; and

  • Participate in the global network of research-intensive university organisations and represent university research at the worldwide platform

Member universities

University of Alberta

University of British Columbia

Dalhousie University

University of Calgary

University of Waterloo

University of Manitoba

McGill University

McMaster University

Western University

University of Ottawa

Queen’s University

University of Saskatchewan

University of Toronto

Université Laval

Université de Montreal

Importance of U15

The U15 is home to world-class researchers using upgraded research infrastructure to make discoveries in their field. These 15 institutions undertake significantly critical fundamental research, training of upcoming citizens, leaders, and entrepreneurs, and enter a partnership with the private, public and government sectors to encourage and capitalise knowledge sharing. Additionally, the comprehensive and quality university research is the foundation of innovation, which is one of the country’s core competitive strengths. 

Understanding U15 at an international level

The member universities drive research excellence in Canada and across the world. At a collective level, the U15 is an important member of the international research community. Also, the U15 joined the Global Network in 2014, which is a group of networks of research-intensive universities. Basically, the Global Network connects U15 to the top research-intensive universities across the globe.

U15’s partners in the Global Network are: 

  • Association of American Universities (AAU)

  • Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU)

  • C9 League (China)

  • German U15

  • Group of Eight (Go8) Australia

  • Hong Kong 3

  • League of European Research Universities (LERU)

  • RU11 (Japan)

  • Russell Group (UK) 

Being a part of the Global Network, the group commits to foresee the interests of university research on a global level. The U15 joined the Global Network partners as a signatory of Hefei Statement, Leiden Statement, Tokyo Statement and Sorbonne Declaration. 

The group of these 15 universities not only provide Canada with cutting-edge research and innovation but also strengthens the economy. These universities provide necessary advice and analysis on higher education along with research and development. 

If you wish to study in one of the U15 universities, feel free to connect with one of our IDP international education specialists and our team will be more than happy to guide you through the process.  

Updated on February 17, 2021

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