Barbara Pollock, executive director of University Relations, said the U of R is pleased with the result. "Ranking sixth in a group of excellent universities speaks well for our university," she said. "It's nice to be among the best of the best."
However, it is still important to appreciate the nature of the Maclean's rankings, Pollock said.
"Maclean's publishes rankings, not raw scores," she said. "The raw scores - computed by Maclean's and used to create the rankings - are very tightly grouped. A very small variation could result in a ranking change between two universities. So while sixth place is better than seventh place, the statistical difference between them is insignificant."
Pollock said the numbers Maclean's uses to generate its rankings suggest the University is making progress in its priority areas.
"For example, our ranking improved in the research areas," said Pollock. "That is consistent with our record growth in research funding - 11.2 per cent in the past year - and especially an 80 per cent increase in funding for interdisciplinary health research that involves collaboration between several faculties and community organizations." That message will help improve the University's growing reputation as a centre of research excellence, she said.
Another area where the University's ranking improved is the proportion of international graduate students, "It's a big world," said Pollock. "We believe that we serve our community well by bringing scholars here from abroad to study and engage in a two-way exchange of knowledge."
The U of R's peer group - the 11 "comprehensive" universities that have significant research activity and a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including professional degrees - includes the universities of Waterloo, Guelph, Victoria, New Brunswick and Windsor, as well as Simon Fraser (Vancouver), Memorial (St. John's), York (Toronto), Carleton (Ottawa) and Concordia (Montreal).
The other two peer groups rated by Maclean's are undergraduate (21 universities focused largely on undergraduate students, with few graduate programs) and medical/doctoral (a broad range of PhD and research programs, as well as medical schools).
- 30 -