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New global ranking positions SFU high for innovation, entrepreneurial spirit

July 06, 2020
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A new global ranking that measures “real contributions to society” places Simon Fraser University in the top 35 universities in the world for innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and industrial application.

On a global scale, the World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) ranks SFU 34th for innovation, 29th for industrial application and seventh for its entrepreneurial spirit.

The WURI rankings, developed by the Institute for Policy and Strategy on National Competitiveness (IPSNC), aim to complement other existing global rankings by evaluating innovative programs in academic institutions that prepare students for “the current era of change.”

Launched in mid-June, the rankings measure how universities create value to society in each of these four areas: industrial application, entrepreneurial spirit, ethical value, and student mobility and openness.

“The WURI rankings highlight SFU’s strengths in innovation, adding to the recognition given to SFU in the recent Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which named us one of the world’s top 20 universities for our social, economic and environmental impact,” says SFU President Andrew Petter. “These rankings provide strong evidence that our mission as Canada’s Engaged University is having real impact and is enhancing our global reputation.”

The first global innovative university rankings were released last month at the WURI ranking online conference, co-hosted by the Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU), the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Franklin University of Switzerland, and Institute for Policy and Strategy on National Competitiveness (IPSNC) in South Korea.

The conference drew educators, researchers, data scientists, and professionals from diverse fields for discussions on the challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions going forward.

According to WURI, while existing university rankings focus on more traditional criteria, such as research performance—measured by the number of research papers produced and other factors—these new rankings assess the agile and innovative programs offered by universities that are relevant and timely.