Faculties nab international recognition

The departments of Philosophy, History, Geography and English are among the best in the world according to QS World University Rankings for Arts and Humanities.

The Top 200 list of universities offering arts and humanities degrees recently placed The University of Western Ontario’s Philosophy and History departments among the 100 best in the world; English made the cut for the Top 150; and Geography was in the Top 200.

“I am absolutely delighted,” says Brian Timney, Faculty of Social Science dean. “It’s a tribute to the efforts of all the faculty members in those departments. It’s very gratifying to see Social Science is maintaining its status at the international level.”

In the Life Sciences & Medicine category, Western’s Psychology department was also ranked in the Top 100.

The recognition will help to attract students to these world-leading disciplines, Timney adds.

The rankings are based on academic and employer reputation as well as research citations. Overall, Western ranks 164 in a list of the Top 600 universities in the world.

The results of the QS survey confirm the strength and reputation of the departments of English and Philosophy, says Michael Milde, Faculty of Arts and Humanities acting dean.

The Department of Philosophy has had a longstanding reputation as one of the top departments in the world for philosophy of science, Milde says. It also has growing strengths in the history of philosophy and in the area of moral, legal and political philosophy.

Likewise, the Department of English has established strengths across the history of English, Canadian and American literature, with an international reputation in a number of fields such as 19th century Victorian and Romantic literature, literary theory and Canadian literature (including Indigenous studies). The department is well represented with winners of various awards, including Polanyi Prizes, Humboldt Fellowships, Royal Society of Canada Fellowships and a Premier’s Discovery Award, to name a few.

“Both departments attract international graduate students, and the QS Survey results will certain help to confirm that Western is an excellent choice for Philosophy and English,” Milde says.

QS World University Rankings broke down its 2011 rankings by subject and Western stands among the best in the world in several areas.

In the Life Sciences & Medicine category, Western made the Top 200 list. Computer Science & Information Systems and Civil & Structural Engineering were among the Top 150 in the Engineering and Technology rankings.  Mathematics was among the Top 150 in the Natural Sciences ranking.