Campus News

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

News Release

November 07, 1999

U of G #1 Comprehensive University in Canada

For the first time, the University of Guelph has been named the top comprehensive university in the country by Maclean's magazine, which released its annual universities ranking issue today.

High quality programs, outstanding faculty who excel in both teaching and research and talented students were among the reasons cited for Guelph's first-place ranking.

"This is great news and welcome recognition of Guelph's distinctiveness as a high quality, student-focused, residential university that is committed to innovative programs, dynamic student-faculty interaction and an integration of learning and research," said University of Guelph president Mordechai Rozanski. "This recognition is, more importantly, a tribute to our faculty, staff, academic and administrative leadership University-wide, our students and alumni. They collectively deserve the credit for our high standing this year. I am immensely proud to be a member of this wonderful community."

Maclean's classifies 12 Canadian universities as comprehensive institutions, defined as those with a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs - including professional degrees - at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Guelph finished second in the category in each of the last two years.

Maclean's uses 21 indicators in measuring overall quality around six general themes: student body, classes, faculty, finances, library and reputation. The reputational survey is based on interviews with more than 5,400 high school guidance counsellors, academic administrators and CEOs of major corporations across Canada. This year, Guelph improved in nearly 50 per cent of the performance indicators, maintained or improved its performance in more than 75 per cent and remained among the top three in reputation.

--The high-quality performances indicators cited by Maclean's include:

-- the quality and success of Guelph's students: No. 1 in proportion of entering students with 75 per cent grade average or higher and No. 1 in graduation rate

--the quality of Guelph's faculty: Guelph ranked No. 1 in faculty with PhD's; in addition, more than 100 faculty have won awards for teaching excellence

--the quality of Guelph's research and scholarship: Guelph moved from 10th to among the top three in faculty research and scholarly success. Guelph is Canada's second most research-intensive university and first among universities without medical schools; Guelph faculty attracted the second-largest per-faculty share of research funding in Canada from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

"Our delight with this national recognition of our quality is tempered by the knowledge that it may not be sustainable," said Rozanski. "In recent years we have made some painful decisions in order to protect the quality of our teaching, research and scholarly inquiry. We have restructured departments and colleges, we have reallocated resources, we have had to make substantial reductions in our faculty and staff, we have cut programs to focus limited resources on areas of key strength and opportunity and we have been forced to increase tuition. Simply put, in the absence of reinvestment, we have reached the limit of what we can do without seriously jeopardizing the future quality of our institution.

"Ontario's universities face enormous challenges over the next few years, including an increase in student demand due to an anticipated enrolment surge, aging infrastructure and international competition for faculty as Canadian faculty retire in unprecedented numbers or are lured away to better-supported jurisdictions. Our government has made an explicit commitment that every willing and qualified Ontario student will be able to attend college or university. We remain hopeful that our partners in government will continue to build on their recent reinvestments in post-secondary education by supporting our core operating needs with increased, multi-year funding to sustain quality and accessibility as we contemplate growth. We owe this to our current as well as to our future students, faculty and staff."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338

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