2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject

Global subject rankings show UVic strength spans academic fields

The 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject, released on March 4, show that UVic continues to perform among the world’s top universities across a wide range of disciplines.

The nine fields where UVic is currently ranked in the world’s top 300 are:

  • Earth and marine sciences
  • Education
  • English language and literature
  • Environmental sciences
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Physics and astronomy
  • Psychology 

Historically, Earth and marine sciences has been one of UVic’s most recognized fields, and this year it remains in the 100-150 band in the QS rankings. English language and literature and philosophy are each at 150-200.

QS scored the university for world-class performance in 43 of the 48 fields it considers. (Most of the rest—including agriculture, dentistry, and veterinary sciences—are fields in which UVic doesn’t have established programs.)

Although different university rankings are designed to measure slightly different features of a university’s performance—in citation impact, research output or campus composition—rankings play an important role in how universities are regarded internationally, and help support major objectives including research grant applications and student recruitment.

The QS World University Rankings, like most other ranking systems, are influenced significantly by citations and a university’s score in reputation surveys. Depending on the field, academic reputation and employer reputation can account for as little as 40 per cent or as much as 100 per cent of a university’s score. H-index (a rolling measure of research productivity and impact) and citations per paper round out the field-specific QS methodology.

In 2018, UVic began a multi-year institutional campaign to ensure our strengths are accurately reflected in reputational surveys, which otherwise tend to favour larger, historically prominent schools. Similar practices at other universities have shown to be effective in raising profile,  reputation and rankings. Since fall 2019, UVic’s initiative has been led by Vice-President Research Lisa Kalynchuk.


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Keywords: rankings, administrative

Publication: The Ring

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