Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

Rankings season in full swing

September means back to class for university students and it also means international rankings season is in full swing, with the three most-watched rankings released this time of year.

“Queen’s has not chosen an easy path when it comes to international rankings,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “While most universities focus either on research or teaching, Queen’s believes in a balanced academy and strives to excel at both. Delivering a transformative student learning experience in a research-intensive environment is our defining strength, but it does not necessarily help us in international rankings.”

"Queen’s has not chosen an easy path...delivering a transformative student learning experience in a research-intensive environment is our defining strength, but it does not necessarily help us in international rankings."

– Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

The Shanghai Jiao Tong academic ranking of world universities (ARWU) was released on August 15 and Queen’s maintained its position within the 201-300 range of the world’s top universities. The QS world university rankings were announced September 16 and saw Queen’s move up two positions to 187th globally. The Times Higher Education (THE) world university rankings will be published on October 1.

Every ranking uses a different methodology and Queen’s performs well in some and less well in others. Some rankings, such as QS, rely heavily on global reputational surveys and others, such as ARWU and THE place a heavy emphasis on research output.

“Fluctuations in the international rankings are to be expected and Queen’s may go up or down a few positions from year to year.  The rankings do indicate that Queen’s continues to punch above its weight when it comes to research, but no major ranking captures all of Queen’s strengths, in particular the quality of its student learning experience,” says Kathy O’Brien, Associate Vice-Principal (International).

Expanding the university’s international reach is a strategic priority for Queen’s and a key driver in its strategic framework. Ms. O’Brien says that the university’s success internationally will be built upon its strength domestically. “The university will continue to leverage our strength as a balanced academy to attract international students and to build on our research prominence around the globe.”

Queen’s renewed international recruitment efforts are already showing results, with international students making up five per cent of this year’s incoming class