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Canada’s universities post slower growth in research income


Toronto, ON October 31, 2003 Canada’s top 50 research universities posted C$3.8 billion in sponsored research income for fiscal 2002. This represents a 12.1% increase over the $3.4 billion in 2001, according to Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List 2003, published by Research Infosource. Sponsored research income includes both government and non-government sources, of which government sources accounted for 68% of the total.

However, growth has declined compared with the two previous years. “Research income growth slowed in fiscal 2002 to 12.1% for Canada’s top 50 universities,” says Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource. “This is considerably less than the 22.7% increase in fiscal 2001 and the 24% jump in 2000. Government funding remained strong, but non-government funding, especially from investments and endowments, was weak. This reflects problems in the broader economy.”

Looking at total sponsored research income, University of Toronto ranked 1st with $456.3 million. Universit de Montral came 2nd with $383.4 million, followed by McGill University in 3rd with $316.6 million. The University of Alberta (287.5 million) and the University of British Columbia ($216.3 million) round out the top 5. Universit Laval ($215.9 million) placed 6th, McMaster ($197.3 million) was 7th, and the University of Calgary ($177.9 million) ranked 8th. Rounding out the top 10 are 9th placed University of Ottawa ($152.2 million) and in 10th spot, Queen’s University ($150.7 million). The University of Western Ontario ($149.3 million) placed 11th, University of Saskatchewan ($121.3 million) was 12th, University of Guelph ($113.7 million) holds 13th spot, and in 14th place, the University of Manitoba ($102.2 million) completes the list of universities with greater than $100-million dollars in sponsored research. Together these institutions accounted for 80% of all research funding received.

Ranking Canada’s top universities by research income growth, the smaller institutions take the lead. Acadia University takes top position with a 72.3% jump, and Trent University is 2nd with a 69.3% increase. Posting a 68% growth, Brock University is 3rd and Lakehead University is 4th with a 67.6% increase. The University of Lethbridge rounds out the top five, reporting a 65.2% growth in sponsored research income. York University (51.5%) is 6th, Queen’s University (48.7%) is 7th, University of Regina (46.1%) is 8th, Universit du Qubec Montral (37.9%) is 9th and Simon Fraser University (34.9%) completes the top ten.

Three universities posted a decline in research income. University College of Cape Breton (-8.8%), Ryerson University (-6.9%) and the University of Toronto (-2.9%).

Research intensity (research income per full-time faculty) reached $113,400 in fiscal 2002, up from $103,200 in 2001. Ranking by research intensity, McGill University leads the pack with $233,000 per full-time faculty. Universit de Montral is 2nd with $219,700, McMaster University is 3rd posting $201,400, University of Alberta is in 4th place with $199,100, and Queen’s University rounds out the top 5 with $198,000. At $171,600, the University of Toronto is 6th, University of Guelph is in 7th spot with $166,700, University of Ottawa places 8th with $159,100, Universit Laval is 9th with $154,500, and University of Calgary completes the top 10 with $122,400.

The largest provinces accounted for the lion’s share of research income. Ontario’s 17 institutions accounted for 39% for a total of $1.5 billion. Qubec, with 13 institutions, reported $1.1 billion for 29% of the total, and Alberta’s three universities brought in $474.1 million, representing 12%. British Columbia, with four universities, recorded $304.6 million (8%), Saskatchewan’s two universities posted $140.3 million (4%), while Manitoba, also with two universities, reported $104.8 million (3%), and Nova Scotia, with five institutions, had $93.3 million (2%). New Brunswick ($31.3 million), with two universities, and Newfoundland ($34.9 million), with one, accounted for 1% each. Prince Edward Island, with one university, posted $5.2 million, which was less than 0.5% of the total.

Data in the survey are drawn from Statistics Canada, Confrence des recteurs et des principaux des universits du Qubec (CREPUQ) and Research Infosource’s own Canadian University R&D Database.