Universities in Canada have always gained a wide reputation for good teaching and excellent research. They are mostly attracted by international students who want to have a career balance through their prestigious degree programmes. If you want to go to some of the best universities in the world for your Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD, you should certainly consider Canada as your study. To do that successfully, here are the Most Distinguished Universities in Canada according to the Times Higher Education World Universities Ranking 2019.

1. University of Toronto

Originally controlled by the Church of England, the first university founded in the colony of “Upper Canada” is structured as a collegiate system, much like prestigious universities in the UK. It was founded in 1827. The University of Toronto (UofT) has many pioneering achievements to its name, including Canada’s first academic publishing house, the first forest science faculty in the country, and becoming the first Canadian university to reach more than C$1 billion (£586 million) in endowment. UofT was the birthplace of such ground-breaking scientific moments as the discovery of insulin and stem cell research, and the invention of the electron microscope. Notable alumni include five Canadian prime ministers, the writers Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood, actor Donald Sutherland as well as 10 Nobel laureates. It’s number 1 of the most distinguished universities in Canada.

2. University of British Columbia

The oldest university in the province, the University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of the most competitive in Canada. UBC offers a number of scholarships for students, including the Donald A. Wehrung International Student Award for candidates from war-torn countries. Eight Nobel prizewinners are associated with the university, as are 71 Rhodes scholars and 65 Olympic medallists. The world’s largest cyclotron – a type of particle accelerator – is housed at UBC, in TRIUMF, the country’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. UBC offers a special joint undergraduate programme with Sciences Po in Paris. Three Canadian prime ministers have been educated at UBC, including current prime minister Justin Trudeau, who graduated with a bachelor of education degree.

3. McGill University

It is the only Canadian institution represented in the World Economic Forum’s Global University Leaders Forum. McGill is the oldest university in Montreal and one of 3 English-language universities in Quebec. It is a public research institution named after a Glaswegian merchant, James McGill, whose bequest in 1813 led to its formation. In 1829, McGill founded the nation’s first faculty of medicine and still scores particularly high in world rankings for clinical subjects. It counts itself as one of Canada’s most internationally diverse institutions. Its alumni include singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, actor William Shatner, and astronaut Dave Williams. The university educates more Rhodes scholars than any other Canadian university. Its eureka moments include the discovery that atoms can be divided, the first map of the brain’s motor cortex, and the invention of Plexiglas.

4. McMaster University

It is located in Hamilton, Ontario with the main campus situated near Hamilton’s Royal Botanical Gardens. The university is named after William McMaster, a prominent Canadian senator and banker who donated C$900,000 to found the institution. McMaster’s medical school is world-renowned. The university is research-based including research from the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, which turned bits of human skin into blood cells, which could help to alleviate the shortage of blood donors. The university’s motto, chosen from Colossians 1:17, is: “All things cohere in Christ” and is the only Canadian host site of a United Nations University. It is number 4 of the most distinguished universities in Canada. Students and faculty come from more than 90 countries and the university holds some 70 international exchange agreements with universities around the world.

5. University of Montreal

The only francophone university in the top five, the University of Montreal is the second-largest university in the country in terms of student numbers, with more than 41,000 students enrolled. A quarter of all students are international. Many renowned business leaders are graduates of the university, including Louis R. Chênevert, chief executive officer of the United Technologies Corporation. Other graduates are noted for their contributions to scientific research, including innovations in nuclear power, visual perception and quantum cryptography. Its alumni include one of Canada’s best-known prime ministers late Pierre Trudeau; Roger Guillemin, co-recipient of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; Louise Arbour, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; Joanne Liu, international president of Doctors Without Borders.

6. University of Alberta

Established in 1908 in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, the University of Alberta is a public research university. Edmonton is home to the world’s second-biggest fringe theatre festival, a folk music festival, and the university’s ‘festival of ideas’. It is the only university in Canada to offer programs in native studies, through which students can learn about the aboriginal experience, including language, culture, history and more. It is also well known for its palaeontology research and its faculty includes world-famous dinosaur experts. Its vast alumni have founded over 70,000 organisations throughout the world, one-third of which have a cultural, environmental or social mission or are non-profit. Alberta has produced one Nobel Laureate, four justices of the supreme court of Canada, including a chief justice, and housed 68 Rhodes Scholars, the highest number in Canada.

7. University of Ottawa

First established as the College of Bytown in 1848, the University of Ottawa is now the largest bilingual (English-French) university in the world. It claims to be a major economic force in the National Capital Region, boasting a 97 per cent employment rate for its graduates. A research university, Ottawa is a member of the U15: a cluster of research-intensive institutions in Canada. It is also home to the largest law school. It has a Museum of Classical Antiquities, established in 1975 to inspire greater curiosity in classical studies. Made up of ancient artefacts covering the period 7BC-7AD, the permanent collection is often accompanied by touring exhibitions from all over Canada as well as international collections. Its motto is ‘Deus Scientiarum Dominus est’, which translates as ‘God is the Lord of knowledge’. It is number 7 of the most distinguished universities in Canada.

8. University of Calgary

Founded in 1966 and situated close to the Rocky Mountains, the University of Calgary is a public research university based in the city of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada. It attracts around 30,000 students, around 25,000 of which are undergraduates, 6,000 are graduates, and around 500 are postdoctoral fellows. About 3,000 of its student body are international, hailing from around 125 countries. It has over 50 percent of its faculty members holding a degree from an overseas university. Its endowment is valued at around $790 million and it has a research income that amounts to $325 million. Among its alumni are former Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, and astronaut Robert Thirsk, who holds the Canadian record for the longest space flight and most time spent in space.

9. University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada’s technology hub, has become one of Canada’s leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Waterloo goes beyond the classroom, to a place where experience is the teacher. Beyond problems to solutions that address social, technical and economic needs. Beyond the laboratory, to the research that propels industries, organizations and society. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. It is also one of the most distinguished universities in Canada.

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