Credit: SFU Community Trust

Awards and recognition

SFU remains #1 comprehensive university in Canada, according to Maclean’s Magazine

October 08, 2020

Simon Fraser University is once again Canada’s top comprehensive university according to Maclean’s Magazine’s 2021 university rankings. The university has ranked number one for 12 of the past 13 years.

“SFU is proud to be named top comprehensive university by Maclean's, a distinction that reflects our commitment to innovative education, world class research, and deep engagement with our communities, locally and internationally," says SFU President Joy Johnson. “With our ongoing work to advance key priorities such as enhancing students' experiences and addressing equity, diversity and inclusion, it's an exciting time to be a part of SFU.”

Among key strengths cited by Macleans:

  • SFU’s commitment to sustainability, with a five-year sustainability plan aiming to slash SFU’s carbon footprint and shift half of its energy use to renewable resources by 2025. Schools of Sustainable Energy Engineering and Environmental Science support the university’s “eco-consciousness.”
  • Wellness is another key factor at SFU with the renewal of My Student Support Program (MySSP) and HIVE (Home for Interactive Virtual Engagement), an initiative to help students navigate through the new semester and counter pandemic isolation, as success stories.
  • SFU’s future First Peoples’ Gathering House, slated to open in 2023, is noted as a key legacy project that will provide a welcoming Indigenous space on the Burnaby campus.
  • SFU’s Certificate in Creative Technologies in Digital Journalism was highlighted for its interdisciplinary approach, combining courses in publishing, communications and contemporary arts, and offering a unique opportunity for studying abroad.

The university also retains second spot in its category for reputation and is 10th among all 49 Canadian universities included in the reputational ranking. The ranking is determined by a national survey of university faculty, senior administrators and business leaders about quality and innovation at Canadian universities.

SFU placed second in the student services category and raised its ranking in student satisfaction (12th). Johnson says the university’s efforts towards improving students’ experience remain a top priority, including modifying supports to help students during the current pandemic.

Efforts by SFU’s Centre for Educational Excellence to provide accessible online learning during COVID-19 have been key to the university maintaining a stable enrollment for the fall semester.

Among other highlights, SFU students have topped the comprehensive category for number of national awards (2015-2019). SFU is also first in the category for budget allocations dedicated to library expenses and acquisitions.

Several SFU’s programs were ranked in the top 10 among all universities, including computing science, education, mathematics and environmental science.