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Picture: Rame Abdulkader/Fulcrum

U of O ranked as seventh-best university in Canada

For the second consecutive year, the University of Ottawa cracked into the top 150 of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings but dropped down four spots from 141st to 145th. 

THE, based in London, UK, compared over 1,500 universities from 93 different countries, making the 2021 ranking the most diverse and largest ranking system to date. This year’s ranking compared over 80 million citations across 13 million research publications while also including over 22,000 survey responses, according to their website. 

Karan Mediratta, a first-year student in the microbiology and immunology graduate program at the U of O said in an email statement that he believes university rankings “are often a reflection of the role and importance of higher education to the economy.” 

THE ranks universities by taking a look at five different categories: teaching, research, citation, industry income and international outlook. 

Compared to last year’s ranking, the U of O saw a rise in several categories including: overall ranking, citations and international outlook. However, it fell in the categories of teaching, research and industry income. 

Despite the slight drop, U of O president and vice-chancellor Jacques Frémont wrote in an email statement that the ranking “consolidates uOttawa’s reputation as a world-class university, even though 129 institutions were added to the ranking this year.” 

Similar to last year’s ranking, the U of O is still in the top 25th percentile in four out of the five categories – teaching, research, citations and international outlook – and is ranked as the seventh-best Canadian university for the fourth year in a row. 

“A full measure of the credit goes to our researchers, who are constantly pushing the boundaries of knowledge, making revolutionary discoveries, and proposing innovative ideas,” wrote Frémont. 

However, Mediratta criticized the U of O’s approach to mental health as perhaps being one of the reasons for the current ranking. 

“Though there is no perfect methodology for ranking universities, a longing need for better mental health resources from the University of Ottawa could be one of many reasons to suggest that the university bureaucrats have been struggling in recent years to uphold that value among students and faculty alike,” said Mediratta. 

Looking ahead, Frémont writes that the University will continue to push forward in the areas of research, international collaboration, investment in research infrastructure and talent while also promoting and celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion in their approaches to research.