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Shanghai Rankings: Concordia makes the world’s top 500

Published research and academic performance propel the university upwards
August 28, 2017
By Cecilia Keating

It’s official — Concordia is one of the world’s top 500 universities. That’s according to the recently released 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Rankings.

This is the first time since 2013 that Concordia has made the top 500, and only the fourth time since the rankings began in 2003. More than 1,300 universities were ranked in total.

“This result is validation that we’re moving in the right direction in terms of our research output and academic priorities,” says Graham Carr, Concordia’s provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs.

ARWU is widely regarded as one of the top three most influential university rankings, along with the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings, both British outfits. It is often lauded for its objective methodology and its reliance on third-party data sources to compile results.

Universities are ranked using multiple indicators of academic and research performance, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, papers indexed in major citation indices, highly cited researchers, papers published in Nature and Science and per capita academic performance.

1 of just 19 Canadian institutions in the top 500

This year, Concordia recorded solid scores in several categories, in particular published and indexed papers and per-capita performance. And given that the university has no Nobel Prize or Fields Medal winners, its ascension to the top 500 this year is even more impressive.

“Because of our embrace of innovation and transdisciplinarity, we’re able to attract faculty who believe that our commitment to convergence can help them be global leaders in their fields,” Carr says.

“Likewise, students from across Québec and around the world are drawn to our programs in record numbers, and want to be part of Concordia’s exciting vibe and learning environment.”

Nineteen Canadian universities made the top 500 bracket, with Concordia coming in tied with Simon Fraser University in 18th position in the country. One hundred and thirty-five American universities made the cut, with Harvard and Stanford ranking first and second respectively.

For the first time this year, ARWU also published the universities that came in the 501-800 bracket, to demonstrate their potential of breaking into the top 500 list in the near future. Université de Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) was among this group.

This year, ARWU premiered the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects, which looked in depth at 52 subjects across five fields (natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences) at 4,000 institutions worldwide. Concordia was ranked in four subjects in social sciences and seven in engineering.

Previously, ARWU only looked broadly at the five fields and did not go into particular programs.

Initially compiled and published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, ARWU is now run by the independent research organization ShanghaiRanking Consultancy.

Find out more about what makes Concordia great, or read the full results of the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities



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