The University of Calgary's ambitious goal to become one of the top universities in the country has gained some momentum. The U of C was considered 17th on an elite world ranking for the top 50 universities under 50.
QS World University Rankings, devoted to reviewing and ranking the best universities in the world, measured the U of C to be the best Canadian university founded after 1962. The U of C, which was officially founded in 1966, was listed as the second best university in North America under 50 after the University of California in Irvine, which was listed at number 10.
The U of C also placed 14th in the top 50 under 50 for academic reputation and 23rd for employer reputation. For Canadian universities ranked after the U of C, Simon Fraser University was 25th, and the University of Victoria was 34th. The top spot overall went to the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
U of C president Elizabeth Cannon said recognition within the global community ensures that the U of C is heading in the right direction, and this ranking parallels the goals outlined in the Eyes High strategy.
"When external agencies can acknowledge that we are one of the top young universities in the world, that sends a [message] to our faculty, staff and students that we have a lot to be proud of and that we are heading in the right direction," said Cannon. "We have set some very ambitious goals and we know we have hard work to do."
Cannon said no ranking system can outline the exact goals of a post-secondary institution, however, this achievement of placing 17th on an international list has the potential to motivate the university community. She also said this ranking is another measure of success.
"We're very pleased. There are a number of these ranking systems out there and everyone uses different criteria, so there's not one ranking system that's representative of the quality of education and research we're doing at the [U of C]," she said. "But this ranking is definitely a boost, and it signals that we're on the right path and we'll be sticking with our strategy."
The QS website said the U of C "is a comprehensive research university that, in its short 39-year history, has grown to take its place among the finest institutions in Canada. Combining the best of long-established university traditions with the city of Calgary's vibrant energy and diversity, the university aims to provide a research and scholarly foundation for students eager to acquire the knowledge and skills essential for a successful personal and professional life."
QS ranked the U of C at 218th in the list for top universities in the world.
According to Students' Union vice-president academic Kenya-Jade Pinto, it is important for the U of C and its community to continue with the goals that were laid out. She said students can be proud of the achievement, but the student experience in the academic setting is still what matters.
"It's exciting to see this ranking, and it's motivating for the [U of C]. It will push us forward in achieving our goals," said Pinto. "Students can be excited about this because it has the potential to be a motivating factor for the university."