Campus News

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

News Release

October 13, 2004

U of G tops University Report Card

The University of Guelph received “straight A's” for overall quality of the educational experience and for student services in the University Report Card, an annual survey of Canadian students published today by the Globe and Mail.

U of G was the only school among both large and medium-sized universities to receive an “A” for student services. It also received an “A” for overall educational experience, which included the categories of quality of teaching, faculty subject knowledge, teaching methods and availability of faculty outside the classroom. Although seven peer universities received “A's” for educational experience, U of G tied for first place in receiving the highest overall marks. In all, the University received eight A+, 15 A's, and 16 A-minuses in the survey.

“I am obviously delighted that students continue to value our open, safe and beautiful campus and quality faculty, and have once again named us a leader among Canadian schools,” said president Alastair Summerlee. “I am particularly pleased to see the library, campus diversity, food services and our buildings and facilities so highly rated.”

The survey represents the opinions of 27,811 undergraduate students across Canada who are members of an online scholarship service. Participants are asked a broad range of questions about topics ranging from quality of teaching and availability of faculty outside the classroom to food, personal safety on campus, and overall university atmosphere. The Strategic Counsel, a market research firm, analyzed the data.

This year, the Report Card switched from a rankings approach to a rating method based on letter grades. The grades each university received in several categories were averaged to determine the letter grade for educational experience and student services.

Categories in which U of G earned an A+ are faculty member’s knowledge of subjects; overall university atmosphere; personal safety and security; freedom of expression; campus atmosphere and online services (including library resources, access to teaching materials and on-campus network).

Areas in which U of G received “A’s” include availability of faculty to students outside the classroom, quality of buildings and facilities, diversity of clubs and extracurricular activities, sense of community, and reputation among employers.

U of G also received top marks for food and health services, teaching quality, recreational opportunities, classrooms and lecture halls, and computer accessibility and assistance.

The University Report Card, like other surveys and rankings of Canadian universities, is one resource future students can use in deciding which institution best fits their needs. But the attitudinal study is just part of the information that is available to students about universities, Summerlee said.

Summerlee also said that while he is pleased U of G was rated so highly, he is worried about sustaining “the excellent higher-education system in this province” with the current level of government funding. Currently, Ontario universities are ranked 10th out of 10 provinces in per-capita government funding. He is pleased to note that Bob Rae, chair of the panel currently reviewing post-secondary education in the province, shares these concerns.

A complete listing of the survey's results is available online.

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

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