Best universities in British Columbia 2022

Find the best universities in British Columbia using Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings data

October 28 2021
Canada, study in canada, international students


British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is known for its high-ranking universities, beautiful terrain, adventurous activities and vibrant multicultural atmosphere.

It is one of the only provinces in Canada where the province assesses and standardises post-secondary education, with the Education Quality Assurance. This ensures quality and “allows post-secondary institutions to compete at an international level”.

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Offering a balance of city life, the sea and the mountains, British Columbia is home to Vancouver, as well as other large cities such as Victoria and Surrey. 

Vancouver is known as Canada’s tech hub and is a good destination for graduates, particularly those interested in software development, biotechnology, aerospace and video game development. 

Tuition fees and living costs for international students can be affordable.

These are the best universities in British Columbia, according to Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022.

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1. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC), formerly known as McGill University College of British Columbia was founded in 1908. 

UBC offers about 500 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in subjects such as business and technology management, IT and applied technology, liberal arts and sciences, linguistics and translation.

UBC’s 1,500-acre campuses are situated in downtown Vancouver, a major cultural and economic hub, and Kelowna. There are a number of modern sports centres and a plethora of student clubs operating on campus that allow students to participate in a variety of activities from skiing to aviation and even archaeology.

The university offers modern facilities, including the national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics (TRIUMF), Canada’s second biggest research library (with more than 7 million publications) and a traditional Japanese botanical garden, which also serves as home for an Ichibō-a teahouse.

Over the years, UBC alumni have won several Nobel prizes, over 60 Rhodes Scholarships and more than 200 have become fellows of the Royal Society of Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, artist Jeff Wall and actor Evangeline Lilly are also former students.

Over the years, UBC has launched more than 1,300 research projects alongside businesses and has fostered the creation of close to 200 new companies.

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2. Simon Fraser University

Established in 1965, Simon Fraser University (SFU) has grown into one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities.

SFU’s original campus, Burnaby, is located on Burnaby Mountain. Brutalist in style, the Burnaby campus has been featured in science fiction television series such as Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica and Andromeda, as well as many other TV shows and films. It is now home to more than 30 academic buildings and UniverCity, a sustainable residential community. It is joined by campuses in Vancouver and Surrey.

SFU has a Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, which holds many exhibits created by students as part of the museum studies courses offered in the department of archaeology. Several large wooden sculptures (“totem” poles) from the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria represent the major art traditions of the Indigenous coastal peoples of the region.

3. University of Victoria

The University of Victoria has a history that dates back to 1903 when its predecessor, Victoria College, was established. In 1963 the college received degree-granting status and was renamed the University of Victoria.

There are more than 22,000 students at the university and 900 full-time faculty members.

The university offers over 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programmes, which are organised into nine faculties. These include business, education, engineering and computer science, fine arts, human and social development, humanities, law, science, and social sciences.

The university is home to a number of research centres and institutes including two Environment Canada labs: the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis and the Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre. The university also hosts the Ocean Networks Canada's deep-water seafloor research observatories VENUS and NEPTUNE. 

Best universities in British Columbia 2022

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2022

World University Rank 2022 British Columbia Rank 2022 University
37 1 University of British Columbia
201-250 2 Simon Fraser University
301-350 3 University of Victoria
801–1000  4 University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)

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