Western moves up in QS World University Rankings

In Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University 2021 rankings, Western rose eight spots, placing 203rd among top universities around the globe. At home, the university placed 8th in Canada and 4th in Ontario.

Western researchers were top in Canada for research output for the second year in a row, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University 2021 rankings released June 10.

Western rose eight spots this year in the overall rankings, placing 203rd among top universities around the globe. At home, the university placed 8th in Canada and 4th in Ontario.

“Moving up the rankings two years running is an encouraging reflection of many positive things happening on our campus,” Western President Alan Shepard said. “It raises our international profile as a strong research-intensive university and helps to signal the quality of the research and teaching to the rest of the world.”

Released June 10, the 2021 QS World University Rankings include more than 1,000 of the most prestigious universities in the world, using a methodology that assesses each institution on six metrics: academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-student ratio, international faculty, and international students.

Western saw year-over-year upticks in scores related to both citations per faculty and international faculty.

The university ranked 59th in the world for citations per faculty based on more than 250,000 citations and 19,000 papers.

“While rankings do not paint a full picture of our research success, we appreciate the public acknowledgement that we continue on a positive trajectory,” said Sarah Prichard, Acting Vice-President (Research). “Publication and citation data reflect the highly productive nature of our faculty members and the influence of their work around the world. We’re proud of the contributions we make to advance knowledge and impact across disciplines.”

Western’s decade-long efforts in internationalization also continued to be reflected in the rankings, as its measured ratio of international faculty remained well above the global median.

Western ranked 132nd in the world for international faculty, and 4th in Canada.

“Internationalization at Western is about more than undergraduate students,” Prichard said. “By offering different perspectives, experiences, ideas and approaches, international faculty members allow us to improve ways in which we conduct research and train students.”

Western finished just outside the top 100, at 110th in the world for employer reputation.

Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named the world’s best university for a record-breaking ninth consecutive year. Stanford, Harvard, California Institute of Technology and Oxford rounded out the top five.

Five of Canada’s seven top 200 universities rose in the ranking year-over-year. The University of Toronto was the highest-ranking Canadian institution at 25th.