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UNBC ranked second among small universities in latest Maclean's poll

School's cements its reputation for meeting needs of students and preparing them for careers with best-ever result in annual national poll
UNBC is ranked second among small Canadian universities in the latest Maclean's magazine poll.

The University of Northern British Columbia has maintained its position on the Maclean’s magazine medal podium.

The Maclean’s rankings of small Canadian universities were released Thursday and UNBC ranks second overall out of 19 primarily undergraduate postsecondary schools, dropping one spot from its first-place ranking in 2021.

To solidify its place in the top two, UNBC aced its test in student-to-faculty ratio (tied with Moncton for first) and achieved third-place marks for the number of students who have won national awards.

It also ranks third in total research dollars, was third in the amount of the total operating budget per full-time equivalent student and was fourth in the amount of the operating budget allotted to social services/humanities research grants.

UNBC has achieved its best-ever reputation ranking (fourth), based on how well the school is meeting the needs of its students and how well it is preparing them to pursue careers in their chosen fields The reputation was determined in an online poll of faculty, senior administration and business leaders.

“UNBC is among the best universities of its size in Canada because of our exceptional students and alumni who are making a difference in their communities, our phenomenal faculty who foster a stimulating learning environment and conduct cutting-edge research, and our dedicated staff who ensure our University continues to offer a top-notch experience,” said UNBC president Dr. Geoff Payne.

“These rankings are the latest evidence that UNBC’s excellent academic programming and research culture are inspiring future leaders across northern B.C. and beyond.” 

UNBC also finished sixth in budget allotment for student services (its highest ranking since 2012), sixth in library acquisitions, and tied for sixth (with Acadia) in how much was budgeted for library services. It ranks eighth in faculty awards (the number of faculty who have won major awards in the past five years) but trailed all other universities to rank 19th in scholarships and bursaries available to students.

The overall ranking is based on the success of students (20 per cent) and faculty (20 per cent), how much is available for resources (22 per cent) and student support (18 per cent), and the school’s reputation (20 per cent).

The overall grade is achieved through separate surveys, one focused on student satisfaction and the other on reputation. UNBC finished first in 2025, 2016 and 2021 and was the runner-up in 2008, 2014, 2018 and 2019.

In this year’s poll, Mount Allison was first in the primarily undergraduate category. Simon Fraser was first among comprehensive universities and McGill captured the medical/doctoral category.