> SFU again tops Maclean's university rankings

SFU again tops Maclean's university rankings

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Jon Driver, vice-president, academic, 778.782.3927, driver@sfu.ca
Stuart Colcleugh, PAMR, 778.782.3219

November 5, 2009

For the second year in a row, Simon Fraser University has been rated Canada’s best comprehensive university in Maclean’s magazine's annual rankings of the country’s top 48 universities.

The magazine groups 11 universities in its comprehensive category, which includes institutions with a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

The other two categories are for medical/doctoral schools and primarily undergraduate institutions.

The magazines notes that “Once again, an outstanding showing in winning student and faculty awards, as well as research grants, contributed to a top-notch score. In addition, SFU scored highly on library spending, particularly in spending on acquisitions.”

“I’m delighted that SFU has again been acknowledged so clearly as one of Canada’s leading universities,” says SFU President Michael Stevenson.

“The current ranking is a great tribute to the strength, energy and imagination of our faculty, staff and students.”

The University of Victoria, which tied SFU for first in 2008, dropped to second this year, while University of Waterloo placed third.

SFU led the comprehensive universities in research grants with an average grant size of $120,100, and a total of 187.5 grants per 1000 faculty members. SFU was #1 in 2008 as well.

In major faculty awards, SFU was #1 among the comprehensives, at the rate of 6.6 awards per 1000 professors.

In library acquisitions, SFU led the way with 52.9 per cent of the library budget devoted to updating the university’s collection, including electronic access. SFU was also first in 2008, but at 50.2 per cent.

In the Maclean’s “National Reputational Rankings” for 2009:

  • Best overall: SFU placed 12th out of 48 Canadian universities, compared with 13th in 2008.
  • Most innovative:  SFU placed 12th in Canada, up from 13th in 2008.
  • Leaders of Tomorrow: SFU ranked 12th, up from 14th in 2008.
  • Highest quality: SFU was 15th, compared with 17th in 2008.

The 2009 rankings for comprehensive universities (with last year’s Maclean’s rank in parentheses and an asterisk indicating a tie):

1.  Simon Fraser (1*)
2.  Victoria (1*)
3.  Waterloo (3)
4.  Guelph (4)
5.  Memorial (5*)
6.  New Brunswick (5*)
7.  Carleton (7)
8.  Windsor (8)
*9. Regina (9*)
*9. York (9*)
11. Concordia

SFU improved in two of 14 main categories, declined in two and stayed the same in 10, compared to 2008 (in brackets):

  • Overall -- 1 (1).
  • Student awards -- 2 (2).
  • Student/faculty ratio -- 5 (5).
  • Awards per full-time faculty -- 1 (1).
  • Social sciences and humanities grants -- 2 (1).
  • Medical/science grants -- 1 (1).
  • Total research dollars -- 5 (5).
  • Operating budget -- 2 (1).
  • Scholarships and bursaries -- 7 (7).
  • Student services -- 3 (3).
  • Library expenses -- 2 (6).
  • Library acquisitions -- 1 (3).
  • Library holdings per student -- 8 (8).
  • Reputation among comprehensive schools -- 3 (3).

Maclean’s published complete details of this year’s rankings in its Nov. 5 issue. and online at http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/rankings/



Comment Guidelines

Iris Chan

SFUers are top class!

Let's create more miralces together at our marketplace!


Maclean's rankings are a joke and useless.

SFU Alum

phfff, sfu is a joke. prison-like building on top of some mountain. nothing but a dump.


tosome1youh8 and sfu alum - i wonder what grades you got - you must not have done much. sfu a joke---you must be the jokers. sfu a prison-like building on top of some mountain, a dump?

who made you prisoners? you must have committed some crime. who forced you to enroll? hate and despise all you want, sfu will still be number one.

peace out.

Ali G

Why you hating sound like you are a UBC student or something. it's a great University and it has a beautiful view from the top and as for the prison like set up only depends on the person. You obviously need to get involved if you want or stop hating.


yah read between the lines


SFU is great, and I am proud that they made that ranking...Now to improve I think they should get better undergrad profs because the ones for grads are amazing compared to undergrad! This would improve the learning experience...Not nice to have ur prof not speak english and not be able to understand or answer your questions...

Improve this SFU and you will be even better!


Believe in yourself!

Chichi Lam

SFU is a wonderful school by the virtue of the diversity and quality of the courses they offer. Even though the architecture may perpetuate the feeling of prison-like qualities, the community here exudes a very warm atmosphere =)


get involved in the community and you will stop hating the wonderful university you are in.Respect yourself and respect the others.

Mike Hunt

community? what community? oh thats right, there is none.

Justin Hollander

Doesnt anyone find it odd that UBC is nowhere to be found on this list?

Siavash E

well great, I'm proud to be an SFU student.

For further improvements, SFU could focus on food/restaurant variety. This is a category in which most canadian universities receive an "F" grade.


What's with the negativity? You slander SFU in your comments, however, is there any justification in your claims? You have none, however what we do have is actual proof that SFU is a cut above from the rest in the multiple categories that were assessed by Maclean. Never say foul things about the institution that grants your degrees. If you really lack community -- get some friends.

And ya this is good news!



ARE YOU KIDDING????I started to wonder if you a sfu student??try to find the community, all the clubs, all the student society, all the job opportunities around on campus, that's where you can find meaningful to be a student..so, stop wandering around, or else, you will fail yourself..



SFU is a great university but there are always things to improve


Hey, UBC folks, don't get upset just not seeing the UBC, U of T, or McGill in the list. These universities competete in the PhD research and doctorate category, not in the comprehensive category. SFU can not rank well in the heavyweight category like doctoral research. However, SFU is a very nice and great university in its own category.