UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

ASKING THE EXPERTS

The reputational survey seeks opinions on university performance

MARY DWYER November 19 2007
UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

ASKING THE EXPERTS

The reputational survey seeks opinions on university performance

MARY DWYER November 19 2007

ASKING THE EXPERTS

UNIVERSITY RANKINGS

The reputational survey seeks opinions on university performance

MARY DWYER

University-bound students are keen to learn as much as possible before deciding on which university to attend, quizzing those who may be in the position to have an opinion worth listening to. Take those opinions and multiply them hundreds of times over and you have the idea behind Maclean’s reputational survey. What do people, whose professions put them in a position to form opinions about how well universities are meeting the needs of students and producing graduates ready to embark on successful careers, really think?

To find out what the professionals think about the state of post-secondary education in Canada, Maclean’s solicited the opinion of 11,826 individuals across the country, asking for their views on quality, innovation and leadership at Canadian universities. Those surveyed included university officials at each ranked institution, high-school principals and guidance counsellors from every province and territory, the heads of a wide var-

iety of national and regional organizations, plus CEOs and recruiters at corporations large and small.

Respondents were asked to rate Canada’s universities in three categories: Highest Quality, Most Innovative, and Leaders of Tomorrow. Best Overall represents the sum of the scores for all three categories. The survey form reminds participants that Maclean’s does not expect them to be familiar with every university, and that we are asking them to provide their views only on

those universities about which they have an informed opinion.

The reputational survey has a regional as well as a national component that divides the country into four key areas: the western provinces, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. All respondents completed a national survey; university officials, principals and guidance counsellors also completed regional ones, allowing them the opportunity to focus on the region they know best. The national and regional surveys are combined to produce the final results.

The reputational survey achieved an overall response rate of seven per cent. Broken out by groups, the response rates were: 21 per cent for university officials; five per cent for high-school principals and guidance counsellors; five per cent for CEOs, corporate recruiters and heads of organizations. M