World's university rankings
The University of Ottawa is now in the top 8 per cent of universities, globally. Image: Bardia Boomer/Fulcrum
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“International ranking are becoming increasingly important for universities, globally.”

The University of Ottawa (U of O) has risen to the 137th spot on the World University Ranking 2023. Formally, the University was placed at 162nd on the rankings, however this recent ranking now puts U of O in the top eight per cent out of the 1,799 universities included in the list.

The Fulcrum spoke with the provost and vice president of academic affairs, Jill Scott, on why this ranking is so important for the U of O and its students.

“Over time, what we’re finding is that international rankings are becoming increasingly important for universities. Going forward, our competitors are going to be global … as we look for top talent, both in students as well as in our professors, more and more we are looking globally,” said the provost.

Scott believes this ranking is especially important because of the increase in international institutions that were added to the 2023 rankings.

“In 2018, there were 1100 institutions … they’ve just announced the 2023 rankings, there are 1800 institutions ranked. That creates a really important downward pressure on the universities that are currently in the system. So to jump 25 points this year is pretty extraordinary,” said Scott.

Scott believes that this high ranking is a result of the investments in research made by the U of O. She explained that the strategic investments the University has made in the past 30 years has given the U of O a reputation worthy of this ranking.

She went further to explain that the more research papers that are cited with or by researchers and professors at the U of O, the higher that will put us in global ranking.

When asked about what the University’s plans are moving forward, Scott said, “We have to do more of the same.”

Scott believes that strengthening the wide range of research and researchers the U of O has across the University’s faculties must continue to be a priority. She also brought up the importance of keeping our program offerings vast in offerings, both in French and English.

“We have extraordinary researchers, really, across the university, whether that be in science, technology, health, humanities, social science … we can’t afford to rely on just a couple of areas. We really need to have strength across the university.”

When asked why this ranking is important for U of O students especially, Scott said, “Your degree is valuable today because it’s going to be the foundation of how you’re going to enter the job market … but 20 years from now, you also want to know that the University of Ottawa is continuing to push up in the in the global rankings, because that increases the value of your degree.”