UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

OUR 17TH ANNUAL RANKINGS

Maclean’s evaluation of overall academic excellence at universities across the country

MARY DWYER November 19 2007
UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

OUR 17TH ANNUAL RANKINGS

Maclean’s evaluation of overall academic excellence at universities across the country

MARY DWYER November 19 2007

OUR 17TH ANNUAL RANKINGS

UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

Maclean’s evaluation of overall academic excellence at universities across the country

MARY DWYER

With this year’s ranking, Maclean’s continues the mandate it established 16 years ago: to provide basic, essential information in a comprehensive package to help students choose the university that best suits their needs. The annual rankings assess Canadian universities on a diverse range of factors, from spending on student services and scholarships and bursaries, to funding for libraries and faculty success in obtaining national research grants. Maclean’s surveys universities with a focus on the undergraduate experience, and an intent to offer an overview of the quality of instruction and services available to students at public universities across the country.

Maclean’s places universities in one of three

categories, recognizing the differences in types of institutions, levels of research funding, the diversity of offerings, and the range of graduate and professional programs. Primarily Undergraduate universities are largely focused on undergraduate education, with relatively few graduate programs. Those in the Comprehensive category have a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees. Medical Doctoral universities offer a broad range of Ph.D. programs and research. In addition, all universities in this category have medical schools, which sets them apart in terms of the size of research grants.

In each category, Maclean’s ranks the insti-

tutions on a range of factors—or performance indicators—in six broad areas (weightings are in parentheses). Primarily Undergraduate and Comprehensive universities are ranked on 13 performance measures; Medical Doctoral universities are ranked on 14. Figures include data from all federated and affiliated institutions. The magazine does not rank schools with fewer than 1,000 full-time students or those that are restrictive due to a religious or specialized mission.

The ranking process begins in the spring when thousands of reputational surveys are sent to university officials, high-school principals and guidance counsellors, heads of organizations, CEOs and corporate recruiters across the country, asking for their views

Medical Doctoral ranking

The Maclean's ranking takes a measure of the undergraduate experience, comparing universities in three peer groupings. Those in the Medical Doctoral category have a broad range of Ph.D. programs and research, as well as medical schools.

OVERALL RANKING STUDENTS & CLASSES FACULTY LAST STUDENT FACULTY FULL-TIME & HUMANITIES SCIENCE RESEARCH STUDENT/ AWARDS PER SOCIAL SCIENCES MEDICAL/ TOTAL YEAR AWARDS RATIO FACULTY GRANTS GRANTS DOLLARS 1 McGill (1) 1 *2 UBC (4) 4 3* *2 Queen's (2) 12 1 4 Toronto C3) 14 5 Alberta (6) 10 6 McMaster 02) 7 7 9 6 10 2 7 Western (5) 13 11 11* 10 9 10 *8 Dalhousie 04). 1 12 13 13 *8 Ottawa (11) 15 4 2 5 10 Calgary .0.3). 8 2* 14 14 11 11 11 Saskatchewan (10) 15 2* 10 15 14 14 *12 Laval (6) 9* 11* 8 8 9 *12 Sherbrooke (7) 12 13 13 15 15 14 Montréal (9) 11 13 6 3 6 6 15 Manitoba (15) 14 8 15 11 12 12

on quality and innovation at Canadian universities. During the course of the summer, Maclean’s collects information on dozens of student and faculty awards from 45 administering agencies.

This year, Maclean’s revised its methodology, and the rankings are now based entirely on publicly available data. Student and faculty numbers were obtained from Statistics Canada, as was data for all five financial indicators—operating budget, spending on student services, scholarships and bursaries, library expenses and acquisitions—as well as total research income. For the social sciences and humanities research grants indicator and the medical/science research grants indicator, data for fiscal year 2006-2007 was received directly from the three major federal grant-

STUDENT SUPPORT LIBRARY REPUTATION 1* OPERATING BUDGET 11 3* 9 3* 7 10 6 12 5 2 15 13 14 8 HOLDINGS EXPENSES ACQUISITIONS PER STUDENT 4 9* 8 7 11 2 3 3 10 1 1 4 1 13 5 1 5 12 2 2 14 7* 10 12 12 4 7 5 13 11 9 14 7 7* 11 10 3 3 6 6 6 5* 4 8 8 5* 13 11 15 9* 14 15 9 15 15 9 2 14 12 13 TOTAL REPUTATIONAL HOLDINGS SURVEY SCHOLARSHIPS STUDENT & BURSARIES SERVICES (% OF BUDGET) (% OF BUDGET) 2 10 12 13 5 6* 6* 8* 3 14 8 5 1 4 4 11* 6* 3 13 15 11 8* 9 15 1 10 11* 14 2 5 6 3 2 4 8 10 14 11 9 13 7 12 15

ing agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries and its regional counterparts provided figures used for the library holdings indicators. All financial and library figures are for the fiscal year 2005-2006; stu-

dent and faculty numbers are for 2004-2005.

Beginning on page 112, you will also find display tables of additional data, such as entering grade averages and graduation rates—information that, surprisingly, not all universities are willing to make public. Maclean’s obtained the data in this section directly from universities, from university websites—whenever such data was available

and comparable—as well as from Common University Data Ontario (CUDO), an initiative of the Council of Ontario Universities, and the British Columbia Higher Education Accountability Dataset (BC HEADset).

The rankings are weighted as follows:

STUDENTS/CLASSES (20% of final score) Maclean’s collects data on the sue-

Comprehensive ranking

The Maclean's ranking takes a measure of the undergraduate experience, comparing universities in three peer groupings. Those in the Comprehensive category have a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including professional degrees.

OVERALL RANKING STUDENTS & CLASSES FACULTY STUDENT/ AWARDS PER SOCIAL SCIENCES MEDICAL/ LAST STUDENT FACULTY FULL-TIME & HUMANITIES SCIENCE YEAR AWARDS RATIO FACULTY GRANTS GRANTS 1 Victoria (3) 2 Simon Fraser (4) 3 Waterloo (2) 4 Guelph (1) 9* 3 6 *5 Memorial (¡5) 7 10 11 *5 New Brunswick (7) 10 7 Carleton (11) 5 8 York (9) 8 11 4 8 9 Regina (6) 11 3 11 11 10 Windsor DO) 10 10 8 11 Concordia (8) 9 7 9*

Weightings of Indicators

Maclean's ranks universities on 13 or 14 performance measures, according to peer grouping, and then allocates the appropriate weights to those measures.

Student Awards 10% Student/Faculty Ratio 10% Awards per Full-time Faculty 6% Social Sciences and Humanities Grants 6% Medical/Science Grants 6% Total Research Dollars 6% Operating Budget 6% Scholarships & Bursaries 6.5% Student Services 6.5% Expenses 5% Acquisitions 5% Holdings per Student 4% to 5% Total Library Holdingst 1% Reputational Survey 22% fMedical-Doctoral category only

cess of the student body at winning national academic awards (10 per cent) over the previous five years. The list covers more than 40 a fellowship and prize programs, encompassing > 15,543 individual awards. The count includes x such prestigious awards as the Rhodes Scholen arships, the Fulbright awards, as well as scholia arships from professional associations and the “ three federal granting agencies. Each univer% sity’s total of student awards is divided by its S number of full-time students, yielding a count Î5 of awards relative to each institution’s size, a Maclean’s also measures the number of

full-time-equivalent students per full-time faculty member (lO per cent). This student/ faculty ratio includes all students, graduate as well as undergrads.

FACULTY (18%) In assessing the calibre of faculty, Maclean’s calculates the number who have over the past five years won major national awards, including the distinguished Killam, Molson and Steacie prizes, the Royal Society of Canada awards, the 3M Teaching Fellowships and 40 other award programs covering a total of 829 individual awards (six per cent). To scale for institution size, the award count for each university is divided by each school’s number of full-time faculty.

In addition, the magazine measures the success of faculty in securing research grants from each of the three major federal granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Maclean’s takes into account both the number and the dollar value received

last year, and divides the totals by each institution’s full-time faculty count. Research grants are reported by how many are awarded to the primary investigator on a project. Social sciences and humanities grants (six per cent) and medical/science grants (six per cent) were tallied as separate indicators.

RESOURCES (12%) This section examines the amount of money available for current expenses per weighted full-time-equivalent student (six per cent). Students are weighted according to their level of study—bachelor, master’s or doctorate—and their program of study.

This year, Maclean’s introduces a new indicator to broaden the scope of the research picture: total research dollars (six per cent). This figure, calculated relative to the size of each institution’s full-time faculty, includes income from sponsored research, such as grants and contracts, federal, provincial and foreign government funding, as well as funding from non-governmental organizations.

RESOURCES STUDENT SUPPORT LIBRARY REPUTATION TOTAL SCHOLARSHIPS STUDENT RESEARCH OPERATING & BURSARIES SERVICES HOLDINGS REPUTATIONAL DOLLARS BUDGET (% OF BUDGET) (% OF BUDGET) EXPENSES ACQUISITIONS PER STUDENT SURVEY 1 7 6 3 5 8 4 11 1 8 6* 7 10 1 2 2 1 9 6 3 10 1 7 2 6 2 9 11 6* 4 2* 5 7 5 10 7 1 11 1 8 4 10 2 4 5 10 9 9 11 6 4 2 9 8 11 6 8 4 8 9* 4 6 6 10 9 8 5 1 8 3 4 11 10 7 11 9* 11 9 5 7

STUDENT SUPPORT (13%) To evaluate the assistance available to students, Maclean’s examines the percentage of the budget spent on student services (6.5 per cent) as well as scholarships and bursaries (6.5 per cent). Expenditures are measured as they are reported to the Canadian Association of University Business Officers.

LIBRARY (15%) This section assesses the breadth and currency of the collection. Universities received points for the number of volumes and volume equivalents per number of full-time-equivalent students (five per cent for Primarily Undergraduate and Comprehensive, four per cent for Medical Doctoral). The total holdings measurement was used in the Medical Doctoral category (one per cent), acknowledging the importance of extensive on-campus collections in those universities.

As well, Maclean’s measured the percentage of a university’s operating budget that was allocated to library services (five per cent) and the percentage of the library budget spent on updating the collection (five per cent). In acknowledging a shift from the traditional library model—books on shelves—to an elec-

tronic access model, Maclean ’s captures spending on electronic resources in both the library expenses and acquisitions measurements.

REPUTATION (22%) This section reflects a university’s reputation in the community at large. For the reputational survey (22 per cent), respondents rated the universities in three categories: Highest Quality, Most Innovative, and Leaders of Tomorrow. Best Overall represents the sum of the scores.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

In previous years,Maclean’s rankings included additional indicators. The number has been reduced this year as many universities now refuse to disclose even such basic data as retention rates and average entering grades. Still, for those universities that have made public this data, Maclean ’s publishes those numbers here in order to provide students with the widest range of information possible.

As a measure of student quality, Maclean’s presents incoming students’ average highschool grades. The figures are for full-time students attending university in their home province. No conversion formula is applied to incoming grade averages to adjust for pro-

vincial differences or varying admission policies, although CEGEP grades are converted !> from an R score to a percentage grade. As 5 well, it should be noted that certain universiz ties, to enhance accessibility, accept students 0 with lower grades. m

Primarily Undergraduate ranking

The Maclean's ranking takes a measure of the undergraduate experience, comparing universities in three peer groupings. Those in the Primarily Undergraduate category are largely focused on undergraduate education, with relatively few graduate programs.

OVERALL RANKING STUDENTS & CLASSES FACULTY LAST STUDENT FACULTY FULL-TIME & HUMANITIES SCIENCE STUDENT/ AWARDS PER SOCIAL SCIENCES MEDICAL/ YEAR AWARDS RATIO FACULTY GRANTS GRANTS *1 Acadia (3) 4* 13* 11 10 *1 Mount Allison (2) 1 4 14 5 3 St. Francis Xavier (1) 6* 6* 10 15 *4 UNBC (4) 3 6 *4 Trent (10) 6* 15 *6 Lethbridge (14) 11* 7 12 19 *6 Wilfrid Laurier (6) 16* 16 8 6 8 UPEI (5) 4* 5 13 18 9 Winnipeg (12) 12 15* 4 9 10 Laurentian (16*) 11* 8 10 20 11 *11 Lakehead (15) 9 13 15* 8 6 *11 Moncton (18) 14 1 17 7 19 *11 Ryerson (16*) 20 20 11 12 13 *11 Saint Mary's (9) 6* 19 13* *15 Brock (19) 16* 17 9 *15 Mount Saint Vincent (U) 19 10 2 3 16* 17 Bishop's (7) 11’ 11 18* 18 16* *18 Brandon (2°) 10 2 6* 21 20 *18 St. Thomas (8) 21 18 18* 16 N/A 20 Nipissing (21) 15 21 18* 17 12 21 Cape Breton (13) 18 14 18* 15 14

indicates a tie.

To provide a more detailed picture of grade averages, Maclean’s displays grades divided into six grade ranges, extending from less I than 70 per cent to 95 per cent and higher.

S As a measure of drawing power, Maclea n ’s

g counts the proportion of out-of-province stu? dents in the first-year undergraduate class,

0 and the proportion of first-year international m students.

1 In taking stock of retention rates, Maclean’s o asks for the percentage of full-time, first-year

2 students who return in second year. While a many factors can affect a student’s choice not

to return—personal considerations, or a decision to transfer to a program unavailable at their home university—student retention, on the whole, reflects a university’s success in keeping its students on course.

Maclean’s also measures graduation rates by tracking an incoming cohort of full-time, first-year undergraduate students to determine if they received a degree within seven years. The graduation numbers include students in three-year programs, as well as those in such second-entry programs as medicine, law and education—programs that have a highly selec-

tive admissions process. As such, the number of these programs at any given university can affect the overall graduation rate.

Finally, in assessing faculty, Maclean’s counts the percentage of full-time instructional faculty members who have a Ph.D., a first professional degree or a terminal degree in their field. M

ON THE WEB: Customize your own ranking using the Personalized University Ranking Tool at www.macleans.ca/oncampus.

Choose your own weights and indicators from our exclusive database.

STUDENT SUPPORT REPUTATION TOTAL SCHOLARSHIPS STUDENT RESEARCH OPERATING & BURSARIES SERVICES HOLDINGS REPUTATIONAL DOLLARS BUDGET (% OF BUDGET) (% OF BUDGET) EXPENSES ACQUISITIONS PER STUDENT SURVEY 10 8* 4* 5* 7 17 4 7 14* 2 15 1 5 7 17* 12 9 13 4 10 2 1 1 18 10* 4 10* 20 14 3 14 1 3 14 18 14 8 6 5 17 19* 5* 3 11 7 14 15 3 10* 15 13* 13 4 4 6 14 19* 18 8 9 11 15 9 19 7 9* 10* 17 6 2 7 4 13 8 5 12 18 5 20 2 14* 11* 2 8 17 13 10 15 16* 7 6 3 16 16 8 10* 16* 19* 12 21 1 11 16 10* 4* 11* 20 15 10 9 17* 6 2 16 13* 19 12 12 12 13 18 17 9 4 15 19 3 16 21 1 1 7 13 18 13 20 6 3 21 2 21 21 21 5 1 9* 17 5 9 20 11 8* 10* 19* 16 16 20 8 19 21 8 21 19 18 19