Maclean’s evaluation of overall academic excellence at universities across the country
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.
This section assesses the breadth and currency of the collection. Universities receive 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 is used in the Medical Doctoral category (one per cent), acknowledging the importance of extensive on-campus collections in those universities. As well, Maclean’s measures the percentage of a university’s operating budget 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 electronic access model, Maclean’s captures spend ing on electronic resources in both the library expenses and acquisitions measurements.
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.
Until 2007, the Maclean’s rankings included additional indicators. The number was reduced last year as some universities refuse to disclose even such basic information 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 high school 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 provincial differences or varying admission policies, although CÉGEP grades are converted from an R score to a percentage grade. As well, it should be noted that certain universities, to enhance accessibility, accept students with lower grades.