U of G Maintains High Maclean's Ranking

November 10, 2008 - News Release

The University of Guelph maintained its high ranking in Maclean's magazine, placing second in reputation and fourth overall among comprehensive universities.

British Columbia's Simon Fraser University and University of Victoria tied for first place, and the University of Waterloo was third.

"This ranking, coming on the heels of other national surveys such as the University Report Card, speaks strongly to the unique learning environment at Guelph," said president Alastair Summerlee. "Maintaining this level of quality in the face of significant financial constraints is difficult. It's a tribute to the excellence of our faculty, researchers, students and staff."

U of G has been ranked Canada's No. 1 comprehensive university by Maclean's four times, in 2006, 2003, 2002 and 1999.

The magazine defines comprehensive universities as those with a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its two other categories are medical/doctoral and primarily undergraduate.

To determine the rankings, Maclean's uses 13 indicators to measure overall quality within six general themes: students and classes, faculty, resources, student support, library and reputation.

Highlights of Guelph's 2008 ranking include:
• No. 1 in research funding.
• Second in library acquisitions.
• Third in faculty grants in the social sciences and humanities.
• Fourth in student services as a percentage of the operating budget.

In the reputational survey in the magazine, Guelph was ranked second overall in its category and second in each of the measures used to determine reputation: best overall, highest quality, most innovative, leaders of tomorrow. Among all Canadian universities, U of G ranked in the top 10 in all four categories.

The reputational survey is based on comments solicited from nearly 12,000 people across the country, including CEOs of major Canadian corporations, high school counsellors and academic administrators.

In 2007, Maclean's revised its ranking system to include only publicly available data, which reduced the indicators it uses to gauge quality from 23 to 13. Nearly all measures of student quality such as entering-grade averages, graduation rates and retention rates — areas where Guelph has always excelled — are not part of the overall ranking and are included only as supplemental information.

In those areas, U of G received top placements for proportion of students who graduate and student retention. Guelph was also ranked No. 1 for percentage of faculty with PhDs.

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 overall student satisfaction and received top marks in several key areas, including quality of education, faculty members' knowledge, sense of personal safety and security, and campus atmosphere.

Guelph was also Canada's top comprehensive research university and runner-up for "Research University of the Year" in surveys by Research Infosource Inc. 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.

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

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1