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Maclean's University Rankings 2023

Check out best Canadian universities for 2023

Various national and international publication houses go live with their rankings of Canadian universities on an annual basis, among which the most popular one is Maclean's University Rankings ( a news magazine under the name Guide to Canadian Universities). These rankings first came out in 1991 assist students to make a well-informed decision when planning to pursue their post-secondary education in a Canadian institution.

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Table of contents

  1. Types of Maclean’s University Rankings 

  2. 9 things to know about Canada as an international student

  3. Methodology for 2023 rankings

  4. Parameters on which Maclean’s weighs institutions

  5. Best overall institutions 2023

  6. Top Comprehensive Institutions of 2023

  7. Top Primarily Undergraduate Institutions of 2023

  8. Best Innovative institutions 2023

Types of Maclean’s University Rankings

Types of rankings

Description

Medical/Doctoral

This category includes Canadian universities that offer a wide range of research opportunities, Ph.D. Programs, etc. All universities included have medical schools.

Comprehensive

This category includes Canadian universities that conduct a remarkable amount of research activities and offer a broad range of programs at both undergraduate, and graduate levels (including professional degrees).

Primarily undergraduate

This category includes Canadian universities that focus on undergraduate studies, with relatively few graduate students and graduate programs.


Maclean’s also releases a ‘Top schools by reputation’ ranking where university faculty and senior administrators along with notable businesspeople across the country are interviewed about their insights on innovation and quality at Canadian universities. Top universities by student satisfaction are based on the opinions of professors and staff on residence life, extracurricular activities, and experiential education (like co-op programs).

9 things to know about Canada as an international student

Know why studying in Canada is a best decision for international students

Methodology for 2023 rankings

At an initial level, Maclean’s places a university in any of the three categories mentioned above. This is based on the type of institution, level of research funding, diversity in course offerings, and breadth and depth of professional and graduate programs. Further, in each category, an institution is classified into five types based on 13 performance indices. 

Note: Data includes all federated and affiliated institutions and excludes: 

These rankings use the most recent and intimately available data. Statistics Canada provides figures on faculty and students registration as well as data for total exploration income and five fiscal pointers operating budget, spending on students services, literacy and bursaries, and library charges and accessions. In addition, Maclean’s collects information on dozens of student and faculty awards from more than 50 associations and conducts a reputational check, canvassing the opinions of university faculty and experienced directors as well as a variety of businesspeople across the country.

Parameters on which Maclean’s weighs institutions are: 

Maclean's University Rankings

I. Students (20%)

Multiple student-centric factors are considered among which the most notable ones include data of students who win national academic awards over the previous five years or prestigious awards or scholarships etc.

Each university’s total number of students who won awards is divided by its number of full-time students, which gives a per-student count. Also, the student-¬faculty ratio of graduate and undergraduate students is of significant importance.

II. Faculty (20%)

In this, primarily the calibre of faculty is considered by the number of major awards won by them over the past five years with the capacity to scale up institution size. Thus, the award count for a university is divided by the school’s total number of full-time faculty. The rankings also calculate the extent of success of a certain faculty to secure research grants from their respective provincial jurisdictions followed by approvals from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Grants for social sciences, humanities and medical science are all separate indicators.

III. Resources (22%)

The section examines how much money is available for current expenses per full-time-equivalent student. To further widen the scope, total research dollars are also considered, including the size of an institution’s full-time faculty, income from sponsored research or funding (federal/ provincial/ foreign government/ non-government).

Note:

  1. Students are weighed as per their study level, i.e., bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate and the type of study program.
  2. Since libraries are an important resource for students, the percentage of a university’s operating budget allotted to library services, the percentage of library budget spent on acquisitions and electronic resources are also calculated. 

 IV. Student support (18%)

To analyse the assistance extended to students, percentage of the budget spent on student services as well as scholarships and bursaries are amounted. 

V. Reputation (20%)

The section solicits views of professionals who are in a position to express or state opinions on how well these universities meet the needs of their students along with how ready the graduates are to start their careers.

 Best overall institutions 2023

Macleans Ranking 2023

Institutions

1

Toronto

2

Waterloo

3

UBC

4

McGill

6

Queen's

7

Alberta

8

Montréal

9

Simon Fraser

10

Victoria

 Top Comprehensive Institutions of 2023

Overall Ranking

University

1

Simon Fraser

2

University of Victoria

3

University of Waterloo

4

University of Guelph

*5

Carleton University

*5

York University

7

Memorial

8

Toronto Metropolitan

9

New Brunswick

*10

Concordia University

*10

Wilfrid Laurier

 Top Primarily Undergraduate Institutions of 2023

Overall Ranking

University

1

Mount Allison

2

University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)

3

Saint Mary's university

4

Trent University

*5

Acadia University

*5

Bishop's

7

St. Francis Xavier

8

University of Prince Edward Island

9

Ontario Tech University

10

Lakehead University

 Best Innovative institutions 2023

Overall Rankings

University

1

Waterloo

2

Toronto

3

UBC

4

McMaster

5

McGill

6

Queen's

7

Montréal

8

Guelph

9

Alberta

10

Victoria

University rankings are a great tool to help evaluate which institution you want to enrol in your higher studies. To understand this in detail and to find your best fit, get in touch with our international education specialists who can guide you all through the way.

Updated on October 17, 2022

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