Four Provinces are Home to Canada’s Top Research Universities

According to a study by Re$earch Infosource Inc., the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo (both in Ontario) and the University of Lethbridge (Alberta) were designated Research Universities of the Year in their respective categories (“medical/doctoral,” “comprehensive” and “undergraduate”).

English: Marine Drive Residence, University of...

English: Marine Drive Residence, University of British Columbia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other top university in each of the three categories were: “medical/doctoral”: McGill University (QC) and the University of British Columbia (BC); “comprehensive”: the University of Guelph (ON) and the University of Victoria (BC); “undergraduate”: Ryerson University (ON) and Universite du Quebec a Rimouski (QC).

(“Medical/doctoral” is a category of post-secondary institutions offering a broad range of research and doctoral programs, including medical schools. “Comprehensive” universities have both significant research programs and a wide range of undergraduate programs, while “undergraduate” universities are largely focusing on undergraduate education).

Re$earch Infosource also provides data on the universities that attracted over $100 million  of research income in fiscal year 2011 (18 institutions, up from 16 in 2010). Top research dollars were attracted by the University of Toronto ($916,000), followed at significant distance by the University of British Columbia ($575,000), the University of Alberta ($536,000), Universite de Montreal ($525,000) and McGill University ($522,000). The other 13 universities attracted between $103,000 and $326,000 each.

The total research income for Canada’s first 50 research universities reached $6.63 billion annually. Ontario captured 38% of this amount, followed by Quebec (27%), Alberta (13%) and British Columbia (12%). The other 10% was divided between Canada’s remaining nine provinces and territories.

Re$earch Infosource analysts point out that “research income growth has […] been slowing in recent years from the heady days of double-digit increases in the early years of the 2000s. [Yet] in the context of declining federal government spending and with public sector job layoffs accelerating, the research community has, for now, dodged a fiscal bullet. […] In a best case scenario the ‘new normal’ will be research income growth that keeps pace with inflation.”

The ranking for Research Universities of the Year was based on a combination of indicators relating to “a balanced set of input, output and impact measures for FY2011 [demonstrating] superior achievement both in earning research income and in publishing research in leading scientific journals.”