UNIVERSITIES BY THE NUMBERS
What students think, what the experts say, and what the hard data tell about 47 Canadian universities
Nov 13, 2006
The following 34 pages hold a wealth of information to help students prepare for one of life's most important decisions: choosing a university.
Our coverage opens with key feedback from people in the know: university students. They were asked to pass judgment on their universities; here are the results. We present three comprehensive surveys of student and recent graduate satisfaction: the National Survey of Student Engagement(NSSE), the Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium(CUSC), and the Maclean's University Graduate Survey. Published here are responses to questions about the quality of teaching, the overall educational experience, and whether students would, if given the choice, attend their university again, or recommend it to a friend or relative.
Offering another point of view, we follow with the Maclean's reputational survey, reflecting the opinions of more than 1,000 university officials, high school principals and guidance counsellors from every province and territory, the heads of a wide variety of national and regional organizations, plus CEOs and recruiters at corporations large and small. Maclean's approached these individuals because their professions put them in a position to form opinions about how well universities are meeting the needs of students and producing quality graduates.
Rounding out the package are the 16th annual Maclean's University Rankings. Focusing on the quality of the undergradute experience, the ranking covers a broad spectrum, assessing university performance on two dozen indicators across six major areas: student body, classes, faculty, finances, library and reputation.
All the numbers behind the rankings are presented on 19 pages of breakout charts: everything from average entering grades, class sizes and faculty awards to spending on libraries, student services and scholarships and bursaries. Also included is a listing of undergraduate arts and science tuition, from the country's least expensive to the most, as well as a directory showing the location and student population at all 47 ranked Canadian universities.
A key part of Maclean's expanded university coverage this year is the new, online Personalized University Ranking Tool. Users can go to www.macleans.ca/university and create their own customized evaluation of Canada's universities, using the same exclusive database of 24 indicators behind the annual Maclean's rankings. This tool offers users the ability to select up to seven indicators, and then weight them according to the user's own preferences. In other words, potential students can create a university evaluation based solely on criteria that matter most to them.