Top 10 Best Universities in Canada 2023

The 19th edition of the QS World University Rankings has been released. Canada’s university ranking has been steady, in the past five years. For the rest of the world, nations like China and Malaysia are rising steadily, while the United States is dominating the top 10 with 5 universities, but in the overall rankings, this year too marks a consecutive decline.

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The QS World University Rankings is one of the most reliable and trustworthy rankings in the world. QS uses five indicators to compile the ranking:

  • Academic and Employer Reputation is based on survey responses from more than 150,000 academics and 99,000 employers.
  • Citations per Faculty measures research impact.
  • The faculty/Student Ratio is used as a proxy for teaching capacity.
  • International Faculty Ratio and International Student Ratio are used to record a university’s internationalization.

This year, QS added two new unweighted performance lenses:

  • Employment Outcomes assess the employability of students.
  • International Research Network analyses international research collaboration and knowledge transfer.

This year’s rankings are the largest ever, with over 1,400 institutions across 100 locations. So let’s dig in and see which universities are the best in Canada for 2023.

Top 10 Best Universities in Canada 2023
Top 10 Best Universities in Canada 2023


QS has named McGill as Canada’s best university. This is the first time in five years that McGill is Canada’s top-ranked university.

Its place in the rankings is underpinned by consistent performances across QS indicators. Specifically, it outperforms Canada’s other two top-ranking universities in terms of research. It comes 203rd globally in Citations per Faculty, while the University of Toronto and the University of British Colombia come 313rd and 332nd.

McGill University is ranked the 31st university in the world.


In the last edition of the QS University Rankings, the University of Toronto was ranked No. 1 in Canada. Nevertheless, it maintained its position in the top 50 universities globally. U of T ranked 34 globally.

The University of Toronto did make strong scores in all internationalization indicators, with an average of 95.5 percent. The university has a strong reputation, hitting almost the 100-point threshold (99.6). This score directly influences the reputation of the university with employers. U of T made 98.3 points.


The University of British Columbia maintained nearly a steady position globally over the last decade. In the 19th edition of the QS university rankings, it took 47th place in the world.

UBC performed best on three indicators: 98 points for Academic Reputation, 97.9 for International Research Network, and 95.5 for Employer Reputation.

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The U of A rose 16 places in the 19th edition of the QS World University Rankings to land at 110th globally, driven by significant gains in key indicators of international reputation. Alberta rose a spot in the local rankings, beating the University of Montréal.

The move up in the rankings comes with a boost in several important categories including academic reputation (up three spots to 139th), employer reputation (up 11 spots to 181st), and citations per faculty (up 20 spots to 237th). The U of A also jumped 21 spots in the faculty-student ratio category.


This year, QS ranked UofM 116th in the world and 5th in Canada. Compared to last year, this is a decline globally and locally, as it did fall down from 111th in the world to the 4th spot in Canada.

The University of Montreal attracts over $500 million in research funding every year, making it one of Canada’s top university research hubs in Canada.

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The UofM best scores were: “International Faculty Ratio” (89.5) and “International Research Network” (86). When it comes to “Employer Reputation”, the university made a poor score compared to its peers globally (47.2).


McMaster is ranked 152 globally in this 19th QS University Rankings edition, falling back twelve spots over last year. McMaster has been always in the top 200 since the change in rankings methodology in the early part of this decade.

In fact, McMaster earned its highest score in its International Faculty Ratio with 99.3 points (from 100). Its second-best performance score comes from Faculty Student Ratio with 84.7 points.


Dropping five places to 154 in the 2023 QS World University Rankings, the University of Waterloo is ranked 7 locally in Canada.

The Rankings showed the University has poorly performed in terms of Faculty Student Ratio with just 7 points out of 100. Meanwhile, strong results in all the other indicators contributed to this year’s positive result.

The University of Waterloo performed well in all internationalization indications: International Faculty Ratio, International Students Ratio, and International Research Network.

In addition, Waterloo marked strong Employment Outcomes with 88 points out of 100.


The 2023 QS placed Western at 172nd worldwide, dropping by 2 spots from its previous position.

Western University’s strongest scores were in International Faculty Ratio, with a score of nearly 100 percent. It received 96.9 points out of a total of 100 for the Citations per Faculty indicator, and 86 points for the International Research Network.


uOttawa sat at 237, a step down from the year before when it was ranked 230. The University of Ottawa performed best on indicators with an international focus. The university received more than 90 points for the proportion of the International Research Network and International Faculty Ratio. International Students Ratio was also a strong contributor.

With 80.3 points, the university’s results for citations per faculty were also three times that of the global median.


The University of Calgary dropped to 242, down from 235 last year, and is rated the 10th best school in Canada.

The U of C scored best in international faculty ratio and international research network, while its lowest scores came from faculty to student ratio and academic reputation, which makes up 40 percent of the overall grade. The U of C received an overall score of 39 out of 100.

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