Western Social Science moves up 57 spots on QS World Rankings to 91

July 27, 2017

Faculty of Social Science ranked 91 in the world

The reputation of Social Science at Western University is on an upward move. According to the 2017 QS University Rankings, it is now ranked 91 in the world, and is number four in Canada. In 2015, Social Science was ranked at 148 worldwide, an increase of 57 spots in two years.

In Canada, only the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and McGill University are ranked higher in social science research than is Western.

Among the individual ranking indicators, Social Science is ranked first in Canada for citations per paper (ninth in the world), and third in Canada on citations according to the H-index score (65th in the world). A close look at the measures that make up the rankings, however, indicates that the biggest reason for the increased ranking is an increase in academic reputation, which improved by more than 10 per cent since 2014.

Academic reputation rankings are based on responses from nearly 75,000 academics worldwide, surveyed by QS. Respondents are asked to list up to 10 domestic and 30 international institutions they consider to be excellent for research in areas they have identified as having expertise in. Respondents are not able to select their own institution.

“I’m very pleased with the increase in our academic reputation. I believe that this reflects the activities in our departments,” said Bob Andersen, Dean of the Faculty of Social Science. “By streamlining our programs, refocusing on areas of research excellence and hiring in clusters to support these, we’re making a stir across the country and elsewhere. Virtually no one else is making tenure-track hires at the rate we are.”

Rankings for individual departments highlighted the diverse strength of the faculty:

  • Psychology was ranked 38th in the world, and fourth in Canada;
  • Psychology was also ranked second in citations per paper, worldwide;
  • Economics was ranked in the 51-100 category worldwide, and was among the top five in Canada;
  • Economics was ranked third in citations per paper among Canadian universities
  • Geography, History and Sociology were all ranked in the top 200 worldwide.

With more than fifty anticipated tenure-track hires over the next several years, we anticipated even greater things for Western Social Science in the future.