The University of Waterloo is 25th in the world and first among ranked Canadian institutions for graduate employability as part of a pilot initiative that UK firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) unveiled today.

The inaugural ranking scores universities in five categories: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employers’ presence on campus and graduate employment rate.

Waterloo rates third overall in the world in the partnerships with employers category, after Stanford and MIT, in part as a result of operating the largest and most successful co-operative education program anywhere.

“Waterloo students start strong and continue to excel because their learning environment is experiential, research-intensive, and real-world relevant,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “Nowhere else in the world can students pursue a degree in world-class programs while also gaining meaningful employment and leadership experience via the world’s largest co-operative education program. Simply put, Waterloo students are uniquely equipped for success in the workplace.”

Waterloo co-op students work with some of the biggest and most influential companies in the world including AECOM, Apple, Barclays, General Motors, Google, Morgan Stanley and The Walt Disney Corporation. More than 6,300 employers hire Waterloo co-op students in more than 60 countries and in 2014/2015, students at Waterloo reported more than $250 million in co-op earnings.

QS worked over three years to identify a suitable methodology to create the Graduate Employability Rankings. However as the ranking is new, they advise that universities should expect to see changes to the ranking in future years.

“This ranking shines a light on Waterloo’s special relationship with employers. I applaud the efforts by QS to find new ways to recognize the impact that unconventional universities like Waterloo are having,” said Professor Hamdullahpur. “Our founders established Waterloo as a platform for talent development, scholarship, and industry partnership. That broad-based connection to our community and to industry remains fundamental to the Waterloo model.”

Earlier this year, QS ranked Waterloo 20th in the world in Mathematics, 24th for Computer Science and 48th in the world for Geography. Waterloo also rose 17 places to be ranked 152nd in the world in 2015 according to QS and rose to 179 in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

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