Students Rank U of G at Top of the Class

October 22, 2009 - News Release

The report card is out, and the University of Guelph is a straight-A institution when it comes to student satisfaction and quality, according to a national survey published today by the Globe and Mail.

U of G earned an A+ for having the most satisfied students — the only school among Canada's small, medium and large-sized universities to receive that mark. It also got an A+ for campus atmosphere and an A for overall quality of education in the University Report Card.

The eighth annual survey is based on the opinions of 38,000 current undergraduate students across Canada. Universities are awarded letter grades in numerous categories and subcategories. Universities are divided into four divisions based on enrolment — large, medium, small and very small. Guelph is in the medium category.

“It’s gratifying that our students, year after year, reward us with top marks,” said president Alastair Summerlee. “It tells us that we are succeeding in our primary mission: providing our students with the most distinctive, engaging and satisfying learning experience possible. Simply put, students come first at Guelph, and this continues to distinguish us.” (Read more of Summerlee's comments about the Report Card in his President's Blog).

In addition to overall quality of education and student satisfaction, U of G was ranked No. 1 in its division or tied for the top ranking in several key areas, including teaching, course availability, student services, food services, buildings and facilities, and campus technology.

New this year is the category “environmental commitment,” and Guelph received an A-minus, the highest grade awarded. U of G was one of only four schools in the country to earn that mark.

U of G was also the subject of a separate news article published in the report card, which is a special supplement in today's newspaper. “A Quiet Campus Revolution” focuses on how Guelph is rethinking the way it teaches undergraduates. Fourth-year students Nathan Lachowsky, a bachelor of science major, and Gavin Armstrong, a B.Comm. major, were interviewed and photographed for the story. It also quotes Summerlee and Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president (academic).

Simon Beck, the editor of the report card special issue, also highlights Guelph’s efforts, saying the University has “embarked on a bold mission to reimagine the way it teaches undergraduates.”

Having U of G singled out for the quality of its undergraduate experience and efforts to rethink how it teaches is “immensely satisfying,” Mancuso said.

“Our position as a leader is the result of careful academic planning, starting with our preparations for the double cohort and continuing today with integrated planning. But above all, it’s a testament to the quality and dedication of our faculty.”

U of G professors received A's for subject knowledge, teaching quality and availability to students. The University also received top grades for academic reputation, quality of its teaching libraries, sense of community and personal safety, and tolerance for diverse opinions and ideas. It was also highly rated for its extracurricular activities, student services and helpfulness of staff.

In all, the University earned four A-pluses, nine A’s and 15 A-minuses on its report card. A detailed listing is available online.

The University Report Card is the first in a series of surveys and rankings of Canadian universities that will be released this fall, including the annual “Research University of the Year” scheduled to be released Oct. 27 and the Maclean’s rankings issue set for Nov. 5.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338 or, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982 or

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