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Awards and recognition

Simon Fraser University keeps top spot as Canada’s #1 comprehensive university, according to Maclean’s Magazine

October 08, 2021

Simon Fraser University remains Canada’s #1 comprehensive university, according to Maclean’s Magazine’s 2022 university rankings.

This year, this top honour is shared with the University of Victoria, who were also ranked #1. 

SFU has placed first in the comprehensive category for 13 of the last 14 years. Comprehensive universities are recognized for their significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees. 

“The last two years have been immensely challenging at all Canadian universities and I’m so proud SFU has once again been named the top comprehensive university by Maclean’s,” says SFU president Joy Johnson. “Inspiring students, talented faculty and world-class educational programs distinguish SFU as a leading community-engaged research university. Our priorities are to build on these strengths to enhance the student experience, advance reconciliation and promote equity, diversity and inclusion across SFU.”

Maclean’s lauded SFU for the strong ties it has created with their local communities in all three of its campuses, and highlighted the new Student Union Building and outdoor stadium at the Burnaby campus as key additions to the Burnaby campus experience.

Maclean’s noted that SFU has extensive co-op offerings (8,500 students are placed at companies that include Telsa and Google) and the school’s grant program and research income, which has grown by more than $55 million.

Standout programs recognized by Maclean’s:

  • First Nations Languages: This program partners with Indigenous organizations in B.C. and the Yukon, bringing language courses to First Nations and assisting Indigenous language proficiency.
  • Environmental Science: Students learn to apply physical and biological sciences to solve real-world environmental challenges. Four specializations are offered: applied biology, environmental earth systems, environmetrics and water science.
  • Statistics: This program provides a solid grounding in data analysis methods to prepare students for a variety of careers and includes co-op opportunities.

Overall, the university also retains second spot in its category for reputation and is 11th 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.

Among comprehensive universities, SFU placed first in students awards and library acquisitions, second in faculty awards and students services, and third in student/faculty ratio, medical and sciences grants and research dollars. 

SFU programs ranking in the top 10 among all universities, include computing science, education and business.

To read more, visit Maclean’s 2022 university rankings.

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