Rankings season underway
Queen’s has moved up one place among Canadian universities for research funding in the 2009 Research Infosource annual ranking.
The University ranked 11th in 2009, up from 12th the year before, in terms of total sponsored research income, despite a 7.4% decrease in the amount of funding received.
Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss says an overall change in the pace of research funding growth “is in part reflective of the economic downturn, as well as the cycle of particular funding programs.”
Queen’s ranked 7th in research-intensity, which reflects the university’s unique position in Canada, one that emphasizes excellence in research and teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
“This ranking reflects the high calibre of our researchers, the quality of their scholarly and creative work, and their productivity, as assessed by their peers,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “Our research strength greatly contributes to our learning environment and enhances both graduate and undergraduate opportunities for our students, faculty and staff.”
The Principal says although we should value and celebrate the recognition we receive, we should also be cautious when it comes to rankings.
Last month, the Times Higher Education World Rankings were released and Queen’s was not among the Top 200 Universities. Principal Woolf says Queen’s did not place because we did not participate and did not provide any data to the exercise.
“We have concerns with the methodology used and we are not alone,” he says. “University Vice-Chancellors in Britain have condemned the Times Higher Education results.”
Still, the Principal says Queen’s needs to consider the value and importance that is given to rankings and how they contribute to the University’s profile and reputation.
“I recognize that many prospective students, parents, and faculty – especially internationally – consider these rankings when making choices about where to go,” he says. “We must not let rankings drive strategy, or chase rankings, but we need to weigh all the factors when deciding whether or not to participate in the rankings, where we have that choice.”
Next week, the Globe and Mail’s annual University Report will be released and the Macleans rankings are expected in November.