Maclean’s evaluation of overall academic excellence at universities across the country
Beginning on page 132 of our newsstand edition, 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 obtains the figures in this section directly from universities, from university websites— whenever such data are available and comparable— as well as from Common University Data Ontario (CUDO), an initiative of the Council of Ontario Universities.
The rankings are weighted as follows:
STUDENTS/CLASSES (20% of final score)
Maclean’s collects data on the success of the student body at winning national academic awards (weighted 10 per cent) over the previous five years. The list covers 38 fellowship and prize programs, encompassing nearly 16,000 individual awards. The count includes such prestigious awards as the Rhodes Scholarships, the Fulbright awards, as well as scholarships from professional associations and the three federal granting agencies. Each university’s total of student awards is divided by its number of full-time students, yielding a count of awards relative to each institution’s size. Maclean’s also measures the number of full-time-equivalent students per full-time faculty member (10 per cent). This student/ faculty ratio includes all students, graduate as well as undergrads.
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 nearly 40 other award programs covering a total of 818 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 in the previous 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) are tallied as separate indicators.
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. To broaden the scope of the research picture, Maclean’s also measures total research dollars (six per cent). This figure, calculated relative to the size of each institution’s fulltime 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.