UBC Nursing, SALA and Engineering top Canadian university rankings

A Canadian flag is displayed across a blue sky as the shadows of the UBC graduating class of 2022 in caps and gowns are shown in the foreground.

Three disciplines in the Faculty of Applied Science ranked first across the country in recently published university rankings.

UBC School of Nursing and UBC Engineering both took top honours on Maclean’s best nursing programs and best engineering programs in Canada respectively, while QS World University Rankings placed UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) first in Canada for architecture and built environment.

“These top national rankings for Nursing, SALA and Engineering are a testament to our achievements across these disciplines,” said James Olson, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science. “They speak to how our faculty and students are making urgent contributions towards the integrated global challenges of equity and climate change, to create a resilient and equitable world for all.”

Disrupting stereotypes

The School of Nursing’s work to break down barriers include inviting people in prison to create and exhibit art, research disrupting stereotypes about how men cope after a breakup, and developing the EQUIP Equity Action Kit to ensure that people who experience substance use stigma can receive better health care.

In recent months, the School also welcomed Tania Dick, a renowned Indigenous health care leader, as its first ever Indigenous Nursing Lead to guide the faculty in supporting Indigenous nursing students, and in creating more culturally competent, safe nurses.

Innovations in health care

UBC Engineering is also impacting health care with innovations such as developing a biomaterials bridge to regrow nerve fibres in injured spinal cords, and a new nano-copper surface coating that can kill more bacteria more quickly, ideal for hospitals and other high-traffic settings.

Construction on a new building for the UBC School of Biomedical Engineering—a joint venture between the Faculty of Applied Science and the Faculty of Medicine—broke ground this summer with a $25-million provincial investment. This purpose-built centre aims to facilitate engineering even more therapies, tools and treatments.

Rising to the climate challenge

Researchers across Applied Science are tackling questions of climate change and adaptation.

UBC campus itself often serves as a living lab: SALA is currently studying the lifecycle performance of Passive House construction in UBC’s first-ever Passive House rentals for faculty and staff, while Engineering’s new solar- and hydrogen-driven Smart Energy District (a city-scale testbed on campus) is the first of its kind in the world.

Leading engineering researchers are also using a pollution-sniffing mobile lab to measure air pollution around Metro Vancouver, and sharing their expertise when it comes to what’s needed to manage impacts from disasters like BC’s record floods in November 2021.

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