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Simon Fraser University named top comprehensive university in Canada, again

October 11, 2018
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A wide range of educational choices and a focus on interdisciplinary research and critical thinking have kept Simon Fraser University as the top comprehensive university in Canada, according to Maclean’s annual rankings.

For those keeping score, it’s the 10th time in the past 11 years that SFU has been named the country’s top comprehensive university, a category that includes post-secondary institutions that have a significant amount of research, a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as professional degrees.

The new home of SFU's sustainable energy engineering building takes shape at Surrey campus.

“SFU has a reputation for research programs with real-world applications, particularly when it comes to tech,” wrote the magazine in their Oct. 11, 2018 write-up.

Maclean’s made specific mention of SFU’s new sustainable energy engineering program (which will launch next fall) and the announcement of Canada’s first professional master’s in visual computing, which aims to equip students with the skills to succeed in fields like augmented and virtual reality.

SFU's new My SSP mobile app offers students 24/7 access to mental health counsellors.

Within the comprehensive category, SFU finished ahead of the University of Victoria (2), the University of Waterloo (3), the University of Guelph (4) and Carleton University (5).

Schools were rated on 14 categories under the broad themes of students, faculty, resources, student support and reputation. SFU achieved top marks in three of those categories (student awards, library expenses, and library acquisitions) and scored either first, second, or third in 11 of the categories.

The MRI scanner at the recently opened SFU ImageTech Lab at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

“The school’s many offerings are spread out over three campuses, with locations in Burnaby, downtown Vancouver and Surrey,” Maclean’s wrote. “Students can choose between the rugged mountain views of the Burnaby Mountain campus and the more urban feel of the downtown Vancouver location. SFU prioritizes sustainability in all its buildings and has an ongoing 20-year zero-waste initiative.”

Other items highlighted in the article included Cedar, Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputer; the recently opened SFU ImageTech Lab (which combines MRI and MEG imaging for a real-time look inside the brain to treat injuries, disorders and tumours); as well as the new mental health mobile app, My Student Support Program.