Campus News

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

News Release

November 14, 2002

Maclean's ranks Guelph No. 1 comprehensive university in Canada

The University of Guelph is the No. 1 comprehensive university in Canada, according to the Maclean's annual rankings of universities released today.

Guelph's high-quality and diverse programs, exceptional faculty, talented students and academic reputation are among the reasons Maclean's cites for placing the University first among Canada’s comprehensive institutions. Guelph holds the top position in the following areas of student quality: proportion of first-year students with a 75 per cent average or higher; support for student services; and the percentage of students who graduate. The University also ranks second in the number of students with national awards, quality of faculty and overall reputation. Guelph was previously ranked Canada's best comprehensive university by Maclean’s in 1999.

"This is wonderful news for the University of Guelph community," said president Mordechai Rozanski. "The Maclean's No. 1 ranking recognizes Guelph’s continuing commitment to our students' success, to innovative programs, to vibrant student-faculty interactions and to a welcoming campus environment. This national recognition is ultimately a tribute to the outstanding quality and dedication of our faculty, administrators, staff, students, alumni and board members. They are the ones who make this University such a great place."

"Imagine a university where the academic success and personal development of students are the first thought of our community. That's Guelph."

Maclean's defines comprehensive institutions as those with a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its two other classifications are medical/doctoral and primarily undergraduate. The magazine uses 21 indicators to measure overall quality within six general themes: student body, classes, faculty, finances, library and reputation. It also releases a reputational survey based on interviews with more than 7,000 high school guidance counsellors, academic administrators and CEOs of major Canadian corporations.

In the reputational survey, Guelph ranks second in the "best overall" category, and second in the three categories: highest quality, most innovation and leaders of tomorrow. In the other indices of quality, Guelph improved or maintained last year’s strong performance in 16 of the 21 categories. The University's high-quality performance indicators that Maclean's cites include:

  • Quality of students: No. 1 in the proportion of first-year students with a 75- per-cent grade average or higher.

  • Student success: No. 1 in graduation rates.

  • Student support: No. 1 in the percentage of the University budget dedicated to student services. Guelph also maintains its position (fourth) in scholarships and bursaries. The University awards almost $16 million in student aid annually, about 60 per cent of which is based on need. It also improves its ranking in the number of library holdings per student (fourth).

  • Quality of faculty: No. 2 in the number of faculty with PhDs.

  • Quality of research and scholarship: No. 2 in the number of medical and science grants received by faculty. Guelph is one of Canada’s most research-intensive universities, with total research funding exceeding $100 million.

The Maclean's ranking is the latest in a series of national reviews of universities that have given Guelph top marks for its academic quality of research and student support. On Oct. 23, the Globe and Mail published the results of the University Report Card online survey, in which students ranked Guelph the top comprehensive university in the country and fourth among all Canadian universities. On Nov. 5, a report by Research Infosource Inc. that was published in the National Post ranked Guelph as the top comprehensive research university in the country and sixth among Canada's 50 most research-intensive universities. In addition, the recent Canadian University Accountability Survey ranked Guelph Canada’s top comprehensive university and fourth among all institutions in external reporting and public accountability.

Click here to read the Maclean's article.

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

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