Maclean's Rankings Released

November 08, 2007 - News Release

The University of Guelph was ranked fourth overall and second in reputation in the annual Maclean's rankings released today.

British Columbia's University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University placed first and second respectively, and the University of Waterloo dropped to third. The margins separating the top four schools were minimal, the magazine's editors said.

Maclean's revised its overall ranking system this year, including only publicly available data, which reduced the indicators it uses to measure quality from 23 to 13. This eliminated nearly all measures of student quality such as entering grade averages and graduation rates --- areas where Guelph has always excelled.

"The quality of our students and the quality of the student experience have always been the most significant parts of our mandate," said president Alastair Summerlee.

"While we are disappointed to drop in the overall rankings, our results in the areas of student excellence that Maclean's maintained remain high. As well, other national surveys like the University Report Card speak strongly to the unique learning environment at Guelph."

In addition, although students at the University of Guelph-Humber were included in the rankings, its faculty members were not, which affected student-teacher ratios.

In the overall rankings, U of G was No. 1 among comprehensive universities in research funding and library acquisitions. Guelph also placed among the top three in student services as a percentage of the operating budget and faculty grants in the social sciences and humanities.

In the reputational component of the rankings, U of G was No. 2 among comprehensive universities. That ranking is based on comments solicited from 11,826 people across the country, including CEOs of major Canadian corporations, high school counsellors and academic administrators.

The Maclean’s ranking is the most recent national survey to recognize U of G’s excellence. Students gave Guelph top marks in the University Report Card published by the Globe and Mail in October. In that survey, Guelph was No. 1 in several key areas, including overall quality of education, faculty members' knowledge and availability, sense of personal safety and security, overall campus atmosphere, quality of academic advising and overall satisfaction with the university experience.

Guelph was also ranked Canada's No. 1 comprehensive research university in two surveys by Research Infosource Inc. that were published last month.

Summerlee said the Maclean’s ranking, University Report Card and other attitudinal surveys and rankings of Canadian universities are just some of the resources future students can use in deciding which institution best fits their needs.

He noted that most Ontario schools, including Guelph, Waterloo and the University of Toronto, were surpassed in Maclean's by universities outside the province and said this points to the importance of the provincial government's investment in education.

Three years ago, Ontario's Liberal government made a multi-year commitment of $6.2 billion to colleges and universities. "We have seen huge improvements in accessibility over that time," Summerlee said. "We now need to focus on support for quality improvements in Ontario universities."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, 519-824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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