Research Income Growth Stalls at Canadian Universities
Canada's Top 50 Research Universities Raise $6.63 Billion in Total
Universities of Toronto, Waterloo and Lethbridge named Research Universities of the Year
TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - According to Canada's Top 50 Research Universities List 2012, released today by Research Infosource Inc. total research income for Canada's leading research universities rose to $6.63 billion in Fiscal 2011, representing a rise of only 2.2% from $6.48 billion in Fiscal 2010, the smallest gain in the past decade. Research income includes all internal and external government and non-government sources. Thirty-four universities posted gains in research income compared with 16 where income declined. The complete list is available on the Research Infosource site www.researchinfosource.com.
"The Fiscal 2011 result signals retrenchment of research funding at our top universities. Gone are the heady days of double-digit increases in funding", said Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource. "By way of comparison, from Fiscal 2000-2010 annual increases were running from 3.0% to 23.9%. This year's growth is the poorest since Research Infosource began tracking in 2001."
Research Universities of the Year
RE$EARCH Infosource highlights the achievements of 3 Research Universities of the Year - the leading institutions that excel on a balanced scorecard of research input and output/impact indicators. This year's winners are: University of Toronto in the Medical/Doctoral category. McGill University and the University of British Columbia came second and third respectively. University of Waterloo won in the Comprehensive category with the University of Guelph and the University of Victoria taking seconding and third positions. The University of Lethbridge is the winner in the Undergraduate category with Ryerson University and the Université du Québec à Rimouski coming second and third.
The majority of university research is conducted at Medical/Doctoral universities. Sixteen Medical/Doctoral universities accounted for 81% of total research income received by the Top 50. A group of 12 Comprehensive institutions accounted for 13%, followed by 22 Undergraduate universities accounting for 6% of the total. In Fiscal 2011, Medical/Doctoral institutions gained only 1.9% in total research income, compared with the 2.2% national gain. The twelve Comprehensive institutions saw their income fall by -1.5%, whereas income rose by an impressive 18.4% at 22 Undergraduate institutions. On the positive side, 18 universities - up from 16 last year - recorded research income of $100 million or more in Fiscal 2011. Most have medical schools that attract considerable amounts of research support.
"With most research income coming from government sources - typically two-thirds or more - and with governments at all levels cutting back, it is not surprising to see total research support slipping" added Mr. Freedman. "It's not yet time to ring the alarm bells, because strong investments over the past decade have produced a robust research system. And, because other jurisdictions are experiencing the same pain, our competitive position will remain static".
The $100 Million Club
Eighteen universities - up from 16 last year gained membership in RE$EARCH Infosource's $100 Million Club - an elite group that attracted at least $100 million of research income in Fiscal 2011. Club members garnered a total of nearly $5.7 billion of research income, an increase of 3.9% from the previous year. As such, they accounted for 86% of total university research income, slightly up from 85% in Fiscal 2010. All but 3 universities (Guelph, Waterloo and Victoria) are Medical/Doctoral institutions - universities with medical schools. Fourteen of the 18 Club members posted gains in research income and 4 saw their research income decline over the period.
Examining provincial performance, university research income rose in 7 provinces and declined in 3. Gains were strongest in Saskatchewan where 2 universities posted a total increase of 8.0% in research income. UPEI boosted Prince Edward Island's total by 7.0%, while 13 Quebec institutions posted a combined gain of 6.1% and 4 British Columbia universities upped provincial research income by 5.8%. Provincial research income totals fell over the period in New Brunswick (-10.4%), Newfoundland (-5.8%) and Ontario (-2.0%). Research income growth in Manitoba (1.8%) also lagged the national increase of 2.2%. Ontario universities' 18 institutions captured 38% of the national total, down from 39% in Fiscal 2010. Quebec's 13 institutions increased their share to 27% of the total from 26% in Fiscal 2010. Over the period share was steady in Alberta (13% of the total) and increased 1% in British Columbia (12% of the total).
Gainers and Losers
Overall, the proportion of universities that reported gains and declines in their research income remained the same this year. In Fiscal 2011, 34 universities posted gains in research income compared with 16 universities reporting declines, versus 33 gainers and 17 decliners last year. However, this year all but one of the top gainers were from Undergraduate universities. The top gainers were Université du Québec a Chicoutimi (111.1%), Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (43.9%), University of Lethbridge (38.7%), Ryerson University (31.1%) and Université de Sherbrooke (30.0%). In total, 29 institutions had research income growth in excess of the 2.2% national average.
About Research Infosource Inc.
Research Infosource Inc., a division of The Impact Group, is Canada's source of R&D intelligence. Drawing from proprietary databases, Research Infosource Inc. publishes Canada's Innovation Leaders, which includes Canada's Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders List, Canada's Top 50 Research Universities List and Canada's Top 40 Research Hospitals List. As well, Research Infosource publishes specialized reports and is the producer of The Innovation Atlas of Canada™ - a web-based research and innovation mapping and data information product. Visit www.researchinfosource.com.
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