UNBC Climbs To Best-ever Ranking In Maclean's

November 9, 2003 For Immediate Release

The University of Northern British Columbia has climbed from 8th to 7th place in the annual Maclean’s magazine ranking of Canadian universities. It is the highest ranking in Maclean’s that UNBC has ever achieved - finishing higher than any other small university in western Canada. The University is ranked in the “Primarily Undergraduate” category, which includes two-dozen Canadian universities.

Some Maclean’s highlights:
- UNBC attracts top quality students who enjoy small class sizes. The average entering grade of first-year students from high school is 80.3%. About 62% of first and second-year classes have fewer than 25 students; at the third and fourth-year, the number is 75%.

- The quality of faculty continues to be a distinguishing feature of UNBC with 90% having a PhD (good for 6th place). Faculty in the social sciences and humanities were ranked second-best in the country for their ability to attract federal research funding.

- The UNBC Library continues to grow after years of being ranked the best in the country for its commitment to funding new acquisitions. About $1.5 million is spent annually on growing the collection, which now numbers 605,000 volumes.

- The value of scholarships and bursaries has topped $1 million annually, and in the cateogry that measures the percentage of the operating budget dedicated to student services, UNBC rose to 7th.

“While it’s pleasing to see us climb in the ranking, we’ve always said that UNBC will never be - nor should it be - the number one university in this category,” says UNBC President Charles Jago. “We’ve always viewed ourselves as a comprehensive university, even though our size is more typical of the Primarily Undergraduate category. Our class sizes remain small, our research funding is rising, our library collection is growing, and we continue to attract top students: all important for any university in any category.”

The Maclean’s ranking is now one of a number of university surveys. In a recent research survey conducted by the National Post, for example, UNBC placed 42nd among all universities in Canada, though its per-faculty research activity illustrated a higher level of research intensity than is indicated by its overall placement.

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