Maclean’s University Ranking 2023: Our Methodology –

For more than three decades, Maclean’s has collected the data and crunched the numbers to evaluate Canadian universities.

Maclean’s annual The University Rankings continue a tradition established in 1991: providing essential information in a comprehensive package to help students choose the university that best suits their needs.

We classify universities into three categories, recognizing differences in types of institutions, levels of research funding, diversity of offerings, and breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs. mainly undergraduate universities tend to be smaller and have fewer graduate programs and graduate students. universities in the Integral category have a significant degree of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including professional degrees. Doctorate in medicine Universities offer a wide range of Ph.D. programs and research; all universities in this category have medical schools.

In each category, Maclean’s classifies institutions into five broad areas based on 12 performance indicators, assigning a weight to each indicator. The figures for the ranked universities include data from their federated and affiliated institutions. The magazine does not rank schools with fewer than 1,000 full-time students, those that are restrictive due to a religious or specialized mission, newly designated universities, or those that are not members of the national association Universities Canada.

The rankings use the most recent and publicly available data. Statistics Canada provides figures on faculty and student enrollment, as well as data on total research income and five financial indicators: operating budget, spending on student services, scholarships and grants, and library spending and acquisitions. Financial figures are for fiscal year 2020–21; student numbers are for 2019; faculty numbers are for 2020. Data for the social sciences and humanities research grants indicator and the medical sciences research grants indicator are for fiscal year 2021–22, and were obtained directly from the three major agencies of federal grants: the Office of Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities. (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Also, Maclean’s collects information on dozens of student and faculty awards from more than 50 organizations and conducts a reputation survey, seeking input from college faculty and senior administrators, as well as a variety of employers across the country.

Maclean’s weights the rankings as follows:


(20 percent of final score) Maclean’s collects data on student success in winning national academic awards (weighted 10 percent) over the previous five years. The tally includes such prestigious awards as Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships, as well as scholarships from professional associations and the three federal grant agencies. Each university’s total student scholarships are divided by its number of full-time students, resulting in a per-student count.

To measure student access to teachers, Maclean’s measures the number of full-time equivalent students per full-time faculty member (10 percent). This student-faculty ratio includes both graduate and undergraduate students.


(20 percent) Maclean’s calculates the number of teachers who have won major awards in the past five years, including the Killam, Molson, and Steacie awards, Royal Society of Canada awards, 3M teaching fellowships, and more than 30 award programs (eight percent ). To scale by institution size, each university’s award count is divided by the number of full-time faculty.

In addition, the journal measures the success of faculty in obtaining research grants from SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR. Maclean’s takes into account both the number and the dollar value received the previous year, and divides the totals by the count of full-time professors at each institution. Research grants are reported based on the amount awarded to the principal investigator on a project. Scholarships in social sciences and humanities (six percent) and scholarships in medical sciences (six percent) are counted as separate indicators.


(22 percent) This section calculates the amount of money in the general operating budget per full-time equivalent student (five percent). Students are weighted according to their level of study (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate) and their study programme.

To broaden the scope of the research image, Maclean’s it also measures total research dollars (eight percent). This figure, calculated relative to the size of each institution’s full-time faculty, includes income from sponsored research such as grants and contracts; financing from federal, provincial and foreign governments; and financing of non-governmental organizations.

Libraries are an important resource for students. Maclean’s measures the percentage of a university’s operating budget allocated to library services (five percent) and the percentage of the library’s budget spent on acquisitions, including electronic resources (four percent).

student support

(18 percent) To assess the support available to students, Maclean’s examines the percentage of the budget spent on student services (nine percent) as well as scholarships and grants (nine percent). Expenses are measured as reported to the Canadian Association of University Business Officials.


(20 percent) For the reputation survey, Maclean’s solicits the views of people who are in a position to form opinions about how well colleges are meeting the needs of students and how ready their graduates are to embark on successful careers. In an online survey, we asked Canadian university professors and senior administrators, as well as a variety of employers from across the country, to rate Canada’s universities in three areas: highest quality, most innovative, and most innovative. leaders of tomorrow. Best Overall represents the sum of the scores of all three. When completing the reputation survey, university faculty and senior administrators also complete a regional component that divides the country into four key regions: the Western Provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces. This allows them to focus on the region they know best.

Click here for the full 2023 university rankings

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