U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities: Everything to Know

Are you planning to pursue a PhD in Canada? Then it will be prudent to look for one of the best U15 universities in Canada. 

The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities is a collective of the country’s leading research-intensive universities, established in 1980 with a group of five Ontario-based universities. Although each institution advances its education mandate and research, the U15 Directorate works towards the common goal of all members. The university aims to foster the delivery of long-term development, sustainable research policy, and higher education in Canada and globally. 

Moreover, U15 institutes are responsible for 80 percent of all competitive university research in Canada. These research universities are cornerstones in the Canadian economy’s growth, and institutions’ faculty and students generate the ideas, life-changing policies, and innovation that enhances lives globally. 

Members of U15 Universities 

University of Alberta Dalhousie University University of Calgary McGill University Western University
Université de Montréal University of Saskatchewan McMaster University University of Toronto University of Ottawa
University of Waterloo Université Laval University of Manitoba Queen’s University The University of British Columbia

Role of U15 Universities

In essence, the U15 establishes a forward-thinking research environment where universities can continue to do innovative research by:

  • Create highly impactful data products and conduct academic research for internal and external audiences.
  • Establishing a connection between experts from all fields and those looking to analyze public policy or news.
  • Engage in research collaborations with the public sector, industry, government, and other partners.
  • Making the best use of the benefits of university-based research excellence
  • Participate in the global network of university organizations that prioritize research and represent university research on international platforms.
  • Collaborating at the federal level with the policymakers to create new guidelines for fundamental research. 
  • University research and the creation of high-impact data products for internal and external audiences. 

Importance of U15 

Canada U15 universities are home to world-class researchers utilizing upgraded research infrastructure to conduct ground-breaking research. These 15 universities undertake vital research, upskilling potential leaders, and capitalize on knowledge sharing. Moreover, quality and comprehensive research is the pillar of innovation, one of the country’s core competitive strengths.  

Moreover, the following factors make U15 institutes indispensable to the Canadian study framework. 

  • Holds a significant portion (85%) of Canadian university technology licenses and Canadian University patents (81%). 
  • An essential part of the Canadian economy with a contribution of more than $36 billion
  • Conduct $8.5 billion of research annually.

U15 Universities: Contribution at International Level

The contribution of U15 universities cannot be considered nugatory at the international level. The U15 group of Canadian research universities is cardinal at a collective level. Moreover, the U15 became a part of the Global Network in 2014, a renowned network of research-intensive universities. 

Following are the U15’s partners in the Global Network: 

  • Group of Eight (Go8) Australia
  • C9 League (China)
  • Association of American Universities (AAU)
  • Russell Group (UK) 
  • German U15
  • League of European Research Universities (LERU)
  • RU11 (Japan)
  • Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU)
  • Hong Kong 3

The Bottom Line 

U15 universities Canada works together to boost the economy and provide Canada with cutting-edge research and innovation. In tandem with doing significant research and development, these universities offer the required guidance and analysis on higher education.


How many research universities are there in Canada?

The 15 Canadian research universities make for the go-to option for international students looking to enhance their research skills. 

Which universities are members of the U15 group of Canadian research universities? 

University of Alberta, Dalhousie University, University of Calgary, McGill University, Western University, Université de Montréal, University of Saskatchewan, McMaster University, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, University of Waterloo, Université Laval, Queen’s University, The University of British Columbia, and the University of Manitoba are the members of Canada U15 universities. 

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