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The top three universities in Canada
Roshna Mohan

Roshna Mohan is a Content Writer at Hotcourses India - an IDP company. A post-graduate in Biotechnology, she chose content writing as her career out of sheer interest. Reading and cooking are her stress-busters. Talk about these to take the introvert out of the ambivert. Her all-time favourite authors are Paulo Coelho, Yuval Noah Harari and Robin Cook.


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The top three universities in Canada

We analysed the major world university rankings to bring you details about the top three universities in Canada.

24 days ago Book icon 5 mins Share
The top three universities in Canada

Canada has always been one of the most sought-after destinations for international students, be it for higher studies or job. Even during these unprecedented times, there remains a surge in the number of applications to universities in Canada. Canada has relaxed its border restrictions and that is helping too. International students who were issued a travel permit on or before 18 March 2020 are allowed into Canada.

We don’t have to tell you about Canada’s general reputation as a country with peace-loving people. This fact is validated by their very low crime rates. The Canadian government and its people embrace diversity and are multicultural. All these factors added to the scenic beauty that it offers means  Canada is often a preferred destination for studies, jobs and migration. Canada will offer citizenship after only three years of living there as permanent resident.

How do universities in Canada rank?

26 universities from Canada made their way onto the QS World University Rankings 2021. Of these, three universities namely the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of British Columbia made it to the top 50.

In the Times Higher Education top universities 2021 list that was released on 3 September 2020, 30 Canadian universities found their place. Once again, the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and McGill University made it to the top 50 in this list too. What makes these universities special? What courses do they have that most Indian students are looking for? Find your answers here.

The University of Toronto

The University of Toronto receives funding from the government and hence is a public university. It is also the largest university in the country with three campuses, in Downtown Toronto, Mississauga, and Scarborough. The university is known for its research activities spanning over decades. Did you know that insulin was discovered at the University of Toronto?

The university bagged the 25th place in the QS World University Rankings 2021. The metrics considered for the rankings include academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, the number of citations per faculty, international faculty ratios and international student ratios. U of T scored an overall score of 82.7.

The institution fared exceptionally well in their academic reputation, employer reputation and the ratio of international faculty and students. The high score for the international student ratio is a promising factor as it means that it is a preferred institution for a lot of students interested in studying abroad. International students account for around 25 per cent of the total student population at the university and it has a higher number of female than male students.

The University of Toronto has retained its 18th position in the THE World University Rankings this year. The THE World University Rankings evaluate five key areas which mostly have more than one factor affecting the score. The five areas are teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income. The university scored an overall mark of 86 and scored above 90 in the categories of research and citations. The research category analyses the university’s reputation for research, the income set aside for research and the number of publications when scaled for institutional size. The ‘citations’ category analyses the number of times the university’s papers are cited by scholars around the world. All this data further establishes the University of Toronto’s place as a research-oriented university.

Popular courses at the University of Toronto

The institution offers over 700 undergraduate and 200 graduate programmes spread across subject areas including:

  • Anthropology
  • Accounting
  • Applied statistics
  • Astronomical sciences
  • Bioinformatics
  • Engineering
  • English
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental studies and many more.

The postgraduate courses popular amongst international students are master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. The undergraduate courses that draw students in include a bachelor’s degree in computer science with honours, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Bachelor of Business Administration.  

If you are interested in applying to the University of Toronto, make sure that you score a minimum of 7.0 in IELTS for a postgraduate course and a minimum of 6.5 for an undergraduate course.

The University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia offers around 500 bachelor’s and master’s degrees. They are famous for their world-class laboratories, modern facilities and their huge research library. It is interesting to know that UBC has produced several Nobel laureates.  

In the QS World University Rankings, they bagged 34th position with an overall score of 76.4. Their strength is in criteria such as ‘Citations’ and ‘International Outlook’. While ‘Citations’ indicates the number of times other scholars cited their publications, the ‘International Outlook’ score is assessed based on the proportion of international students and international staff, and the university’s international collaboration. International collaboration takes into account the publications with at least one international co-author.

The University of British Columbia had an overall score of 74.8 which got them 45th place in the THE World University Rankings 2021. Their academic reputation score is 97.1 and have more than 15,000 international students on their campus.

Popular courses at the University of British Columbia

The subjects taught at UBC are varied and include the arts and humanities, physical sciences, psychology, law, life sciences, engineering and technology.

When considering the number of Indian students interested in studying in UBC, the number of applications received for an MSc in Computer Science showed a consistent increase in the last three years. Other postgraduate courses preferred by Indian students at the University of British Columbia are the Master of Data Science and Master of Food Science.

Though engineering courses like civil engineering and electrical engineering are still in popular, the interest in these has decreased slightly. However, the preference for mechanical engineering is still on the rise. The Bachelor of Applied Science (Engineering), Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology are the top three courses amongst Indian students looking to study at the university.

The University of British Columbia requires a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 for both postgraduate and undergraduate courses.

McGill University

McGill University is a public research institution. It boasts an employer reputation score, evaluated by the QS World University Rankings, of 94.1. As per the data by QS, 81 per cent of arts graduates, 95 per cent of Engineering graduates, 91 per cent of medicine graduates, and 84 per cent of science graduates find employment in less than two years after graduation.

The university is situated in the city of Montreal, which is ranked as one of the most student-friendly cities in the world. McGill secured the 31st position in the QS World University Rankings. The university scored a 96.3 for the proportion of international students at the university. This indicates that the university has been successful in attracting students from across the globe. 29 per cent of their students come from countries other than Canada.

McGill has an overall score of 75.1 and they ranked 40th  in the THE World University Rankings. McGill scored 91.3 in the ‘International Outlook’ criteria and can lay claim to the best student to staff ratio, with 13:1.

Popular courses at McGill University

Interestingly, the subjects preferred by Indian students at McGill are the food science and agriculture, as well as the degree of Master of Science (Applied) in Biotechnology. Another degree that remains is the Masters in Mechanical Engineering. However, the number of students that enrol successfully is fairly low. The university is more preferred for postgraduate courses than undergraduate courses. The Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering and Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science are some of the preferred undergraduate courses at the university.

To apply for postgraduate or undergraduate courses at McGill University, you should have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.

If your favourite subjects are not available at these universities, worry not. These are not the only top universities in Canada. It has 100 plus universities, of which more than 25 universities made it to the list of top institutions in the world. Try out our Course Matcher tool to find the most suitable course and university for you.

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