U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities

U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities
Formation 1991
Legal status Association of Canadian-based universities
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario
Region served
Official language
English, French
Feridun Hamdullahpur[1]
Website u15.ca

The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities (commonly shortened to U15) (French: U15 Regroupement des universités de recherche du Canada) is an association of 15 Canadian public research universities. It is headquartered in Ottawa and was established in 1991 to represent its members' interests, primarily to provincial and federal governments, concerning the research enterprise and government programs supporting research and development.

Its member institutions undertake 80 percent of all competitive university research in Canada, and represent a research enterprise valued at more than $5 billion annually.[2] Together, they contribute upwards of C$36 billion to the Canadian economy every year; as well as produce more than 70 percent of all doctorates awarded in Canada.[2]


The core of the U15 began when executive heads of five universities in Ontario—McMaster University, Queen's University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and the University of Western Ontario—began to meet informally to consider mutual interests. This group of five Ontario-based universities formed an association in the mid-1980s to advance the interests of their research-intensive institutions.[3] By 1989, vice-presidents from other Canadian universities had joined the initial group. After a meeting at the University of British Columbia, they agreed to meet twice annually to share common concerns. In 1991, the universities formed a Group of Ten, made up of the original five Ontario universities, along with McGill University, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal, and Université Laval.[3]

The group has since expanded twice, once in 2006, and again in 2011. In 2006, the group expanded to include Dalhousie University, University of Calgary, and the Université d'Ottawa, becoming the Group of Thirteen.[3] In 2011, the group grew to its current size and membership with the addition of the University of Manitoba and the University of Saskatchewan. The group was reorganized and renamed as the U15.[3] In 2012, the executive heads created a U15 Directorate and appointed the organization's first executive director.[4]


The executive heads of the member universities govern the U15, supported by their respective chief academic officers and vice-presidents of research.[1] The executive organ of the group is the Executive Committee, made up of the Chair and two Vice-Chairs. Through a process of peer nomination, the U15 appoints a Chair to lead the governing body. The committee is charged with acting on behalf of the U15 concerning operational matters related to the Secretariat.[1] The current Chair is Feridun Hamdullahpur, who also serves as the president of the University of Waterloo.[1]

In addition, the U15's Executive Committee operates a number of sub-committees that assist the administration in its operations. The Academic Affairs Committee advances collaborative initiatives and attempts to maximize cooperation among the member institutions.[1] The Research Committee attempts to advance the research agenda of its member institutions.[1] The Data Exchange Steering Committee is charged with setting the priorities and recommending annual work plans for research data specialists at member universities.[1]


The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities currently has 15 members, of which six are from Ontario, three from Quebec, two from Alberta, and one from British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia. Seven of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada are represented in the group. Three of the six Ontario-based U15 universities are located within the Greater Golden Horseshoe, while two of the three Quebec-based universities are located within Montreal.

Collectively, the members of U15 represent 47 percent of all university students in Canada, 71 percent of all full-time doctoral students in the country,[5] 87 percent of all contracted private-sector research in Canada, and 80 percent of all patents and start-ups in Canada.[5] As a group, the U15 universities attract C$5.3 billion in annual research income, notably holding 80 percent of all competitively allocated research funding in Canada.[5]

Institution[6] City Province Total studentsa Establishedb Year joined Sponsored research incomec
University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta 37,730 1908 1991 $452,436,000
University of British Columbia Vancouver British Columbia 58,030 1908 1991 $585,154,000
University of Calgary Calgary Alberta 31,800 1966 2006 $282,771,000
Dalhousie University Halifax Nova Scotia 18,560 1818 2006 $140,099,000
Université Laval Quebec City Quebec 44,320 1663 1991 $302,783,000
University of Manitoba Winnipeg Manitoba 29,150 1877 2011 $159,763,000
McGill University Montreal Quebec 37,170 1821 1991 $483,527,000
McMaster University Hamilton Ontario 30,280 1887 1991 $325,156,000
Université de Montréal Montreal Quebec 46,980 1878 1991 $526,213,000
University of Ottawa Ottawa Ontario 43,100 1848 2006 $302,341,000
Queen's University Kingston Ontario 24,850 1841 1991 $168,025,000
University of Saskatchewan Saskatoon Saskatchewan 29,180 1907 2011 $166,677,000
University of Toronto Toronto Ontario 84,400 1827 1991 $1,038,390,000
University of Waterloo Waterloo Ontario 35,900 1956 1991 $137,006,000
University of Western Ontario London Ontario 37,000 1878 1991 $241,095,000

Notes: a Based on the AUCC's 2013 preliminary full-time and part-time enrolment figures.[7] b Established date is given as the year in which the institution was founded, and not when degree-granting powers were granted. c For the 2012 fiscal year. Figures are in Canadian dollars. The data was obtained from Statistics Canada through Research Infosource[8]


The institutions of U15 rank among the world's premier institutions.[2] The following table shows the ranking of these institutions from a variety of international and national rankings.

University Academic Ranking of World Universitiesa QS World University Rankingb Times Higher Education World University Rankingc Maclean's Medical-Doctorald
University of Alberta 101 - 150 94 107 5
University of British Columbia 34 45 36 3
University of Calgary 201 - 300 196 195 9*
Dalhousie University 301 - 400 283 251 - 300 8
Université Laval 201 - 300 372 251 - 300 12
University of Manitoba 401 - 500 501 - 550 401 - 500 14
McGill University 63 30 42 1
McMaster University 83 149 113 6
Université de Montréal 151 - 200 126 103 11
University of Ottawa 201 - 300 291 251 - 300 9*
Queen's University 201 - 300 223 201- 250 4
University of Saskatchewan 401 - 500 471 - 480 401 - 500 13
University of Toronto 27 32 22 2
University of Waterloo 201-300 152 173 N/A
University of Western Ontario 201 - 300 198 201 - 250 7

Notes: a Based on ARWU 2016 rankings[9] b Based on QS 2016-2017 rankings[10] c Based on THE-WUR 2016-2017 rankings[11] d Based off Maclean's 2016 Medical-Doctoral rankings[12]

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Governance & Administration". U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 "Who We Are". U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "History & Milestones". U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  4. Berkowitz, Peggy (26 March 2012). "Suzanne Corbeil appointed to U-15 group of universities". University Affairs. Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.
  5. 1 2 3 "Our Impact". U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  6. "Our Members". U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  7. "Enrolment by university". Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. "Canada's Top Research University 2013" (PDF). Research Infosource Inc. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  9. "Canadian Universities in Top 500". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  10. "QS World University Rankings - 2016-2017". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  11. "World University Rankings 2016". Times Higher Education. 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  12. "2015 Medical Doctoral University Ranking". Maclean's. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2016.

External links

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