Dalhousie maintains consistent performance in largest and most diverse World University Rankings

- September 2, 2021

Dalhousie continues to be the top-ranked university in Atlantic Canada. (File photo)
Dalhousie continues to be the top-ranked university in Atlantic Canada. (File photo)

Dalhousie University held its ground in the largest and most diverse university ranking list to date, maintaining its 251-300 placement out of the more than 1,600 institutions across 99 countries ranked in this year’s Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE WUR).

This is the second year in a row that Dalhousie has placed 251-300 in the THE WUR, positioning the university among the top 20 per cent worldwide.

The results put Dalhousie in a tie for 12th place in Canada and mark it as the top-ranked university in Atlantic Canada.

Dalhousie consistently ranks among the top 300 universities globally in the three international rankings it actively participates in: THE WUR,  QS World University Rankings and ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The method behind the rankings

Times Higher Education builds their worldwide rankings on 13 performance indicators spread across five areas: teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry income.

Scores in teaching and research are heavily influenced by the annual THE Academic Reputation Survey, which was carried out between November 2020 and February 2021. Responses were combined with those from the previous year to include insight from almost 22,000 responses.

In addition to the series of indicators related to teaching and research, the methodology also considers a universities’ role in spreading new knowledge and ideas through calculations based on citations and industry income.

Rounding it all out are indicators measuring how well a university attracts international students and faculty. For the past several years, Dal has performed well across international indicators.

Consistent performance

Earlier analysis by Dalhousie Analytics of the university’s placement in the THE WUR found that although Dalhousie had realized small increases in total score over the years, it has remained the same in overall rank. This seems to be due in large part to substantial growth in the number of participating institutions, which has increased by 70 per cent since 2017, when only 980 universities were ranked.

When reviewed separately, Dal’s performance in the quantitative indicators (industry income, internationalization and citations) is comparable with the Top 200 placed universities globally.

Strategic approach

Dalhousie’s standing in global rankings is an important indicator of university performance in research, teaching, recruitment, and reputation and a key tool for recruiting top researchers, attracting international students and improving funding sources.

Dalhousie’s Strategy for Global Ranking Placement is directly linked to the university’s Strategic Plan (2021-26) and supports the university's continued effort to raise awareness of Dalhousie’s accomplishments on a global scale.


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