About UVic

Female research student standing on rocks near the ocean
UVic is Canada's most extraordinary environment for discovery and innovation.

The University of Victoria offers innovative programs for more than 20,000 students. Dynamic, hands-on learning, research that makes a vital impact, and discovery and innovation in Canada’s most extraordinary academic environment provide an Edge that can’t be found anywhere else. Learn more about the UVic Edge.

A top-ranked Canadian university

The 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings place UVic among the top 250 universities around the world. In addition, THE placed UVic at 175 on its January 2016 list of the world’s 200 most international universities. Learn more about our rankings.

Community involvement

Beyond the classroom, UVic is deeply immersed in the life of communities around the world. With civic engagement a key part of our mission, our faculty, students and staff walk side by side with community partners in Canada and abroad, tackling together the essential issues that matter to people, places and the planet.

President's message

Our university is a national and international leader in many areas of critical research and creative endeavour, and our faculty are committed and inspiring teachers. We offer our students a research-enriched education that is complemented by applied, clinical and work-integrated learning opportunities in an academic environment that is among the best in the world.

Read the entire message.

The University of Victoria's renewed strategic plan, A Vision for the Future: Building on Excellence, reinforces the vision and mission of the university and sets long-term goals for the future.

The plan builds on the success of the original Vision for the Future (2002). It was approved by the Senate and Board of Governors in January 2012.

The University of Victoria is proud and grateful to benefit from significant support in the form of public funding, student tuition and private contributions.

We hold ourselves to the highest standards of stewardship of these resources and our audited financial statements are publicly available.

To ensure programming of the highest quality for our students, our faculty are evaluated annually, through students' teaching evaluations as well as by their department chair and dean. Departments are also subject to vigorous external review every five to seven years.

In addition, there are many ways in which the university provides a public accounting of its accomplishments and progress in fulfilling its mission.

Learn more about accountability on the President's website.

The University of Victoria is recognized annually as one of Canada's top universities by external surveys and UVic students alike.

Leiden University rankings

UVic is a major hub for global research—and the data proves it.

Every year since its inception in 2011, UVic has also been recognized in the Leiden University Rankings for the highest proportion of internationally co-authored research of any Canadian university. Globally, Leiden’s 2016 rankings put UVic in 148th place for all sciences. It ranks 58th for research impact in math and computer science, and 67th in physical sciences and engineering.

Those scores put UVic second in Canada for math and computer science and for physical sciences and engineering. UVic placed fourth in Canada for its proportionate research impact in all sciences—just behind the University of Toronto, UBC and McGill—and third for collaboration.

Additionally, UVic was the top Canadian university without a medical school in four of the ranking’s five categories—including biomedical and health sciences.

UVic retains its place in the top one per cent of universities in the world and among the top-ranked in Canada for scientific impact.

QS World University Rankings

The 2016 QS World University Rankings by Subject recognize UVic's leadership in a broad mix of academic fields. The QS rankings also suggest that UVic's rising international reputation stems from extraordinary programs across the institution.

UVic is identified in the top 200 institutions globally for research in five QS subject areas: English language and literature, earth and marine sciences, geography, law and philosophy.

Of those, earth and marine sciences and English language and literature were in the top 150. In addition, UVic programs in computer science, education, electrical engineering, environmental sciences, mathematics, and physics and astronomy placed in the top 300 for global subject leadership.

In total, the university is ranked for world-class performance in 35 of the 42 subject areas that QS measures. (Most of the rest—including dentistry, pharmacology and veterinary sciences—are fields where UVic doesn't have established programs.)

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.

Times Higher Education

The 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings place UVic among the top 250 universities around the world. In addition, THE placed UVic at 175 on its January 2016 list of the world’s 200 most international universities. 

In early 2013—as UVic’s 50th anniversary approached—THE also ranked UVic number 20 globally and first in Canada among universities less than 50 years old.

The THE global ranking is the only system that includes a section dedicated to the teaching and learning environment, including the first-ever global survey of institutions' teaching reputation.

For more information visit the Times Higher Education website.

Research strength highlighted in global ranking

The combined efforts of our campus researchers have put UVic in fourth-place among all Canadian universities in Canada in two key research indicators—citation rate and top-cited publications—according to newly released data from U-Multirank, a global university ranking consortium funded by the European Union. UVic also placed second in Canada for international joint publications. UVic is the only Canadian university to receive top marks in this area without the advantage of a medical school and affiliated research hospital, which tend to increase research intensity. More at U-Multirank.

Shanghai Jiao Tong /ARWU

The 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, created by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, also ranks UVic as one of Canada's leaders in research intensity and an area-specific leader in physics, science and mathematics.

Among universities ranked by ARWU—whose methodology favours older and larger institutions—UVic appears in the 201-300 band of institutions. Within Canada, only six large medical/doctoral universities are ranked higher.

In the broad field of science, UVic is tied with McGill for third place in Canada, behind only the University of Toronto and UBC.


UVic is also consistently ranked among the top Canadian comprehensive universities by Maclean’s magazine.

In a strong showing across the board, UVic racked up top-three finishes in eight of the 14 key performance indicators used by Maclean's for its 2016 rankings.

Maclean's comprehensive category comprises the 15 Canadian universities that combine a significant amount of research activity with a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including professional degrees.

Re$earch Infosource

UVic has been named a Canadian Re$earch Infosource "Research University of the Year" for 12 of the past 13 years. This designation indicates that UVic "demonstrates superior achievement in earning research income and in publishing research in leading scientific journals."

In the most recent Re$earch Infosource decade-in-review summary of Canada's research universities, UVic outscored all other comprehensive universities in two out of three measures of research performance from 1999-2009.