The University of Waterloo tied 158 overall in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2024 that were announced on September 27. Waterloo also placed 7th among 31 Canadian institutions.  

This year, THE evaluated more than 1,900 universities around the world using a new and updated World University Rankings (WUR 3.0) methodology. The new changes introduced four new metrics: three metrics that look at citations and one that examines patents. Waterloo placed highly across all four new metrics. 

“The University of Waterloo has always prided itself on being unconventional in how we solve global challenges and prepare our students for the future,” says Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “We are pleased to see that Waterloo’s foundational strengths such as innovative research and co-operative learning align well with the world university rankings new methodology and have resulted in a strong showing this year.” 

Waterloo researchers excel in a unique environment that integrates experiential education and entrepreneurship with interdisciplinary research. The University's creator-owned IP policy provides incentive through IP ownership to ensure that commercialization of research provides broad societal and economic benefit. 

As part the new WUR 3.0 methodology, the Research Quality pillar comprises of four indicators. It has moved from a single indicator worth 30 per cent of the ranking result to four separate measures. Citation impact (15 per cent) based on normalized citations from 2018-2022; research strength (5 per cent) based on 75th percentile of field weighted citation impact (FWCI); research excellence (5 per cent) publications in the top ten percent for FWCI and research influence (5 per cent) based on the calculated “importance” of cited papers. 

Waterloo’s strongest indicators this year were: research productivity, research excellence, research influence, patents and international staff.  

THE’s new and updated WUR 3.0 methodology: 

Indicator area  Percentage weight  Breakdown 

Research Quality: 

Citation impact, research strength, research excellence and research influence 

30 Research Quality measures four metrics: citation impact (15 per cent); research strength (5 per cent), based on the 75th percentile of field weighted citation impact (FWCI); research excellence (5 per cent), based on the publications in the top ten percent for FWCI; and research influence (5 per cent), based on the calculated “importance” of cited papers. 
Research environment  29 Research environment is measured through research reputation (18 per cent), research income (5.5 per cent) and research productivity (5.5 per cent).  
Teaching   29.5 The teaching measures five metrics: teaching reputation (15 per cent), Student to staff ratio (4.5 per cent), doctorate to bachelor ratio (2.0 per cent), doctorate staff ratio (5.5 per cent) and institutional income (2.5 per cent). 

Industry: Industry income and patents 


Industry income (2 per cent) indicates the commercial impact of an institution’s research, which is itself a reflection of the industrial value of the research. 

The patents (2 per cent) measure explores how often a university’s research is cited in patents. 

International outlook  7.5 International outlook measures the proportion of international students (2.5 per cent), proportion of international staff (2.5 per cent) and international collaboration (2.5 per cent). 

The final adjustment to THE World University Ranking methodology has been adjusted to change their normalization approach for the three measures in the International Outlook pillar. Now, THE will also take into account the population of a country when evaluating these metrics. 

For almost two decades, THE World University Rankings has been evaluating university performance on the global stage and providing as a resource for readers trying to understand the different missions and accomplishments of higher education institutions. 

Read more about Waterloo’s ranking data in THE World University Rankings 2024