Facts and reports

Facts and figures about UVic

A unique learning environment

The University of Victoria, one of Canada's leading universities, is a rich and supportive learning community for students and faculty alike.

Widely recognized for leadership in research, inspired teaching and community engagement, UVic provides innovative undergraduate and graduate programs and real-life learning experiences in a diverse and welcoming West Coast environment.

A top-ranked Canadian university

Since 2010, UVic has been rated by Times Higher Education (THE) as the top-ranked university in Canada without a medical school. In early 2013, THE also ranked UVic number 20 globally and first in Canada among universities less than 50 years old.

UVic has continually placed at or near the top of the comprehensive category in the annual university rankings by Maclean's, Canada’s national news magazine. In 2013, UVic was ranked as the top Canadian comprehensive university. This is the seventh consecutive year that UVic has been ranked either first or second in this category. The university's commitment to excellence in all areas is evident in the results, with UVic ranked in the top three in 9 of 12 key performance indicators used to create the Maclean's annual report.

A hub for international research collaboration

The 2013 Leiden University rankings put UVic ahead of all other Canadian universities in the proportion of internationally co-authored research, based on scientific publications issued from 2008-2011. UVic also retains its place in the top one per cent of universities in the world and among the top-ranked in Canada for scientific impact.

World-class leadership in a broad mix of fields

The 2014 QS World University Rankings by Subject also recognize UVic’s leadership in a broad mix of academic fields. UVic is identified in the top 200 institutions globally for research in six QS subject areas: English language and literature, earth and marine sciences, geography, law, physics and astronomy, and psychology.

The QS subject ranking studied nearly 3,000 of the world’s top universities—approximately 15 per cent of all institutions—and ranked fewer than 700 of them for statistically significant subject-specific leadership.

UVic's remarkable strength across a full spectrum of disciplines is also notable. The university is ranked at world-class level in 22 of 30 QS-identified subject areas.

Learn more about our rankings.

Programs for a changing world

UVic's academic programs are constantly evolving to provide education that will equip students for our rapidly-changing world.

Faculties (10) and divisions (2):

Experiential learning

UVic has one of Canada's largest university co-operative education programs, integrating academic studies with relevant paid work experience in more than 40 academic areas.

Each year, businesses and organizations across the globe hire UVic students to complete nearly 3,000 co-op work terms through UVic's co-operative education programs. The average co-op salary is $2,700 per month.

The co-op program is part of UVic's Co-operative Education Program and Career Services, which provides integrated career development support to students from first year through to graduation and beyond.

We have nearly 100 exchange programs with institutions in 25 countries around the world, providing students with rich opportunities for international learning.

High student satisfaction

In a survey of recent graduates, 96 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with their UVic education and rated the quality of instruction good or very good.

Research that's changing lives

Researchers at the University of Victoria work on the cutting edge of knowledge, making major contributions in a wide range of fields from fuel cells and cancer cells to climate change and cultural change.

UVic is known for its research strengths in the arts and sciences and selected professions. Some areas of note are:

  • Society and health
  • Oceans and climate
  • Matter and energy
  • Indigenous and cultural studies
  • Global change and sustainability
  • Genomics and proteomics
  • Fine and performing arts
  • Computational modelling and information processing

Our researchers

UVic researchers were awarded nearly than $125 million in outside research grants and contracts in 2012/13—nearly triple the amount achieved 10 years ago.

UVic owns the world-leading Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) Observatory, comprising the VENUS coastal network and the NEPTUNE Canada ocean network. The observatory pioneers a new generation of ocean observation systems that use innovative engineering and the Internet to provide continuous, long-term monitoring of ocean processes and events, as they happen.

In February 2008, the BC government awarded $94.5 million to the University of Victoria to create, lead and host the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS). A $90-million endowment – the largest single contribution to a university endowment in Canadian history – signals the BC government's long-term commitment to taking action on climate change.

According to the international newsletter Science Watch, UVic is the fifth most influential university in the world in the field of energy and fuels, as measured by the citation impact of the top 100 scientific articles per institution published between 1998 and 2008. In North America, only Princeton, Cornell and the US National Energy Lab ranked higher.

Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization links universities and colleges on Vancouver Island with researchers, government and community, transforming great ideas into commercially viable businesses.

UVic owns more technology transfer space than any other BC university. UVic-owned Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP) is an economic powerhouse for the province of BC. The park generates $317 million in direct, indirect and induced revenue, and creates more than 2,000 local jobs. A highly acclaimed centre of academic and biotech excellence, VITP facilitates the local growth of high technology, which is already Victoria's number one industry, estimated yearly at $1.67 billion, surpassing Victoria's $1.19 billion tourism industry.

A vibrant community resource

Our Division of Continuing Studies offers hundreds of individual courses for personal and professional development, including 26 programs leading to a diploma or certificate. The division serves more than 16,000 students annually, and has a local economic impact of more than $30 million.

The University of Victoria Vikes athletic program has established itself as one of the most successful university athletic programs in Canada. Since the inception of the athletics program in 1968, UVic has won 72 Canadian university national championships, and individual competitors have won 272 individual medals at CIS championships. Of 53 CIS institutions, UVic is fourth overall in team championships.

UVic's Olympic tradition is unrivalled in Canadian university sport—161 Vikes athletes, coaches and alumni have represented Canada at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and have won 37 gold, 22 silver, and 9 bronze medals in Olympic and Paralympic competition.

Honours and awards

47 current or former UVic faculty members have been elected fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, the nation's highest academic honour for career achievement.

UVic faculty members hold 36 coveted Canada Research Chairs. UVic instructors are also well-represented among the winners of acclaimed national 3M teaching awards.

Our Co-operative Education Program and our Peter B. Gustavson School of Business have both received Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada ScotiaBank Awards for Excellence in Internationalization.

UVic Law ranked No. 2 law school in the country in 2008 by Corporate Knights magazine, for the faculty's ongoing commitment to environmental law and sustainability issues.

People make our university

Student enrolment (2013/14): 20,813 (including 3,406 graduate students); 55% female; 74% of undergraduates come from outside Greater Victoria.

Faculty and staff (March 2014): 4,606 employees, including 886 faculty (43% female, 57% male), 530 sessional instructors, 955 specialist/instructional staff, 2,246 administrative, professional and support staff.

Alumni (April 2014): 115,067 alumni by degree, certificate or diploma. Among 76,060 living alumni with known addresses, 80% live in British Columbia and 4,673 live in 115 other countries. More than 31,000 live in Greater Victoria.

One of Canada's top diversity employers

UVic was also named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers for the third year in a row. Nationally, 55 organizations were recognized for a range of initiatives that attract and retain employees from diverse communities. UVic was one of only three universities included on the list, and one of two organizations in Victoria.


Total revenues (2012/13): $540 million. BC government 40%, tuition 22%, federal government 14%, sales 11%, donations 3%, investment income 6%, other 4%.

Total fundraising (2012/13): $15.2 million

University endowment (January 2014): $348 million

Helping students achieve their full academic potential is our first priority, and removing financial barriers helps students meet their goals. In 2008/09, UVic increased the number of major, multi-year scholarships by 70 per cent, adding $1.5 million to the financial assistance available for UVic students.

One quarter of new applicants were offered scholarships in 2008/09, and relocation grants are now awarded to help students from outside Victoria with moving expenses.

UVic provided nearly $10 million in aid to undergraduates during 2010/11. Financial support to graduate students in this same period, including teaching assistant stipends and funds provided by sponsored research grants and awards, rose to $18.7 million.

History and traditions

The university celebrated its 50th anniversary during 2012-13, five decades after receiving degree-granting status in 1963. The origins of UVic, however, can be traced back to 1903 and the establishment of Victoria College, the university's predecessor institution.

UVic logo

The three martlets – footless heraldic birds – on the UVic shield refer to those on the crest of McGill University, with which Victoria College was originally affiliated.

The university mottoes, shown on the UVic Coat of Arms, are 'Let there be light' (in Hebrew) and 'A multitude of the wise is the health of the world' (in Latin).

Coat of Arms

The university colours are red, gold, and blue.

The university flag depicts three red martlets in a gold field above a blue field.

UVic flag

Principal officers

Chancellor: Murray Farmer, BA

Chair, Board of Governors: Ms. Susan Mehinagic

President and Vice-Chancellor: Jamie Cassels, QC

Vice-President Academic and Provost: Valerie Kuehne, PhD (acting)

Vice-President Research: David Castle, PhD

Vice-President Finance and Operations: Gayle Gorrill, BBA

Vice-President External Relations: Carmen Charette

University Secretary: Julia Eastman, PhD

Further information

UVic website: www.uvic.ca

UVic accountability pages

UVic Communications: 250-721-7636