Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

November 07, 2005

U of G Places in Top 3, Featured Prominently in Maclean's

The University of Guelph was front and centre in the Maclean’s rankings released today, placing among the nation’s top comprehensive schools and being featured in the magazine’s cover story.

The annual Maclean’s university issue includes two different surveys: an overall ranking of institutions and a reputational survey based on feedback from CEOs of major Canadian corporations, high school counsellors and academic administrators.

In the university rankings, U of G placed third among comprehensive institutions, down one spot from last year and behind the University of Waterloo and the University of Victoria. Guelph was No. 1 in four of the key areas that determine the placements — quality of students, graduation rates, quality of faculty and student services — and it maintained or improved its performance in 13 other categories.

But U of G, as well as Ontario’s other universities, lost ground in areas most closely tied to the effects of the double cohort, such as finances, library holdings and acquisitions, and average entering grades. “This underscores the need for and the importance of the recent reinvestment in higher education from the McGuinty government, the results of which we hope will be positively reflected in future rankings,” said president Alastair Summerlee.

In the reputational survey, Guelph was ranked second overall and second in each of three categories used to determine reputation: highest quality, most innovative, leaders of tomorrow.

“I’m very pleased that we continue to compare favourably with Canada’s other top universities and that the nation’s business and education leaders continue to give us such high marks and positive feedback,” Summerlee said.

“But in light of our success in other recent national surveys, I am disappointed that we have slipped in the overall Maclean’s rankings. This is particularly discouraging because the staff and faculty at the University have worked hard to counteract the impact of the double cohort and balance issues of education, research and revenues from government, tuition and other sources.”

U of G is “absolutely committed” to maintaining its competitive edge and to continuing its leadership in the quality of the educational experience for students, Summerlee added. The University will be releasing a paper soon that will outline plans for a new strategy and renewed focus on undergraduate teaching and learning.

He said he was pleased to see Guelph featured so prominently in the lead story written by Maclean’s education editor Ann Dowsett Johnston. The article focused on the continued challenges the University faces with deferred maintenance and Guelph’s unique teaching approach and philosophy, including its first-year learning seminars. “I hope that it will draw even more attention to the wonderful and innovative initiatives we have at Guelph.”

The Maclean’s ranking is the most recent national survey to recognize U of G’s excellence. Guelph was also ranked the No. 1 university in Canada for overall quality of education, food services, availability of faculty and online teaching materials in the University Report Card, a survey of Canadian students published by the Globe and Mail Nov. 2. Last month, Guelph was also named Canada’s comprehensive “Research University of the Year” for the fourth year in a row in a national report.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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