Archive for Macleans.ca
Keith Robinson on his surprising findings
If there is a single pillar of unchallenged, conventional wisdom in education theory, it’s that parental involvement is the key to a child’s success in school. Certainly, University of Texas professor Keith Robinson had no doubt about it when he and fellow sociologist Angel Harris decided to investigate exactly how that involvement played out. But not after plowing through the rich data provided by the U.S.’s National Center for Education Statistics (surveys of 25,000 students) and Child Development Supplement (family questionnaires). The effects of parental involvement in schooling, write Robinson and Harris in The Broken Compass, are mostly inconsequential—sometimes even negative.
Q: This wasn’t the result you were expecting, was it?
A: I have to say I certainly was surprised, given the view of the public and the government. There is such an overwhelmingly positive sentiment toward more parental engagement, even dating back to the ’70s. And a good deal of federal dollars is spent promoting it. But things jumped out at us. Afﬂuent children with good academic success do have involved parents, it’s just that that’s not the reason they have success. The relationship of parental involvement at the school—which varies greatly over racial and especially economic groups—never yielded positive estimates even one-third of the time. At home, where the class and racial differences are narrower, it was a bit more positive. Overall, only approximately 15-20 per cent of the involvement was positive, roughly 30 per cent negative and the rest statistically insigniﬁcant. A big surprise was that Asian-American parents—the model minority whose kids are doing so well in school—hardly did any of these involvement measures, another thing that sort of ﬂipped conventional thinking on its head.
Due date change may bring “drought” or “plague of locusts”
Students in a third-year McGill Middle Eastern politics class, calling themselves the Paper Extension Movement, recently petitioned their King, Prof. Rex Brynen, for a week-long extension on a paper. His hilarious response has since been viewed on the site BuzzFeed more than 110,000 times.
Universities are ground zero of the locavore movement
Students are leading a shift from greasy grub to gourmet fare. Here are scenes from the locavore movement on campus. See the full photo essay in the 2014 Maclean’s University Rankings issue.
Scholarly style from Acadia to SFU
Students aren’t only focused on classes. Neither is the 2014 Maclean’s University Rankings issue. It features a photo essay of scholarly style from Acadia to SFU. Here are some of the best shots.
Aeroplan miles can be used at UNB and Centennial College
Aeroplan, a Canadian loyalty program, will now allow people to pay university or college tuition using miles collected when they shop at certain retailers, use certain credit cards or fly on Air Canada. The University of New Brunswick and Centennial College are among the first institutions to sign up. Aeroplan miles may be converted at a rate of 35,000 for $250 off one’s own tuition or someone else’s. There’s no limit on conversion. Higher Ed Points, which is behind the program, offers form e-mails students can use to request that friends and family donate their miles.
See who came out on top in our annual analysis
The 23rd annual Maclean’s University Rankings issue, the number one source for students choosing universities in Canada, is now available on newsstands and tablets. It contains 130 pages of charts, surveys, stories about what’s happening in higher education and, of course, our 2014 University Rankings.
Each of the 49 universities is ranked in one of three categories to recognize differences in levels of research funding, diversity of offerings and breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs.
For the ninth year in a row, McGill ranks first in the Medical Doctoral category. In second place is the University of British Columbia. The University of Toronto, which once dominated the rankings, is third.
In the Comprehensive category the University of Victoria passed Simon Fraser University to take first.
In the Primarily Undergraduate category Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B. is once again on top. No surprise there; this is the 17th time in 23 years that Mount A. is first. Acadia University edged out the University of Northern British Columbia for second. UNBC tied the University of Lethbridge for third.
One school improved its position by three ranks this year: Saint Mary’s University in Halifax moved from 8th to 5th in the Primarily Undergraduate category. Six schools are up two spots.
Wondering how we rank? Maclean’s considers 14 indicators of the quality of students, faculty, libraries and finances. For a full description of the ranking methodology, click here.
Mount Allison holds on to first place while Acadia moves up
The Maclean’s University Rankings place schools into one of three categories to recognize differences in levels of research funding, diversity of offerings and breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs. Universities in the Primarily Undergraduate category, ranked here, are largely focused on undergraduate education, with relatively fewer graduate programs and graduate students. Be sure to check out the other two ranking categories, Medical Doctoral and Comprehensive, and our methodology. For dozens of charts, our reputation survey, student satisfaction results and stories about what’s new on campuses, buy the 130-page Maclean’s University Rankings, on newsstands and iPads.
|2014 Ranking||School||Last Year|
|*7||St. Francis Xavier||(7)|
|17||Mount Saint Vincent||(17)|
* Indicates a tie
Victoria passes Simon Fraser to take the top spot
The Maclean’s University Rankings place schools into one of three categories to recognize differences in levels of research funding, diversity of offerings and breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs. Universities in the Comprehensive category, ranked here, have a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including professional degrees. Be sure to check out the other two ranking categories, Medical Doctoral and Primarily Undergraduate, and our methodology. For dozens of charts, our reputation survey, student satisfaction results and stories about what’s new on campuses, buy the 130-page Maclean’s University Rankings, on newsstands and iPads.
|2014 Ranking||School||Last Year|
* Indicates a tie
McGill, UBC and Toronto hold their top three positions
The Maclean’s University Rankings place schools into one of three categories to recognize differences in levels of research funding, diversity of offerings and breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs. Universities in the Medical Doctoral category, ranked here, have a broad range of Ph.D. programs and research, as well as medical schools. Be sure to check out the other two ranking categories, Comprehensive and Primarily Undergraduate, and our methodology. For dozens of charts, our reputation survey, student satisfaction results and stories about what’s new on campuses, buy the 130-page Maclean’s University Rankings, on newsstands and iPads.
|2014 Ranking||University||Last Year|
* Indicates a tie
Principal Daniel Woolf “deeply concerned” about attack
Queen’s University principal Daniel Woolf says he’s “deeply concerned” to hear of an attack over the weekend that police are investigating as a hate crime. According to a Queen’s press release:
The six students, who are all Muslim, were walking home along Patrick Street after seeing a movie on Saturday night. As they neared Fraser Street, they were allegedly chased down and attacked by four men on bicycles. The men began by making derogatory comments before one pulled out a weapon and began hitting one of the students. The students were able to flee the scene and take cover in a backyard, and only minor injuries have been reported. The case has been assigned to the Major Crime unit and is being investigated as a hate crime.
“I am very concerned about this incident,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “I am shocked and dismayed to learn that anyone in this community would be the victim of an unprovoked attack of this kind, let alone six of our students. I can only imagine how shaken they must be feeling after this incident, and my thoughts are with them. I want to assure them that Queen’s is committed to protecting our faculty, staff and students from hate and discrimination of all kinds. I am also grateful to the Kingston Police for their investigative work in this case.”
What students are wearing in Hamilton, Ont.
McMaster University’s students look like they’re too busy studying to put much effort into their outfits. Or maybe they just manage to make it look effortless. Either way, this is a school with some serious global clout, ranked 26th in the world in Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health and 92nd overall by Times Higher Education. Photographer Jessica Darmanin captured this Campus Style gallery at the Hamilton, Ont. school while working on the 2014 Maclean’s University Rankings, out soon.
Calls are free, private
A new 24-hour-a-day mental health help line for Ontario college and university students is up and running. Good2Talk is free, anonymous and staffed by professional counsellors who can connect students to local resources. The service is delivered in part by Kids Help Phone and the Ontario Centre for Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health. The number to call is 1-866-925-5454.
Campus Style in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
Atlantic Canada doesn’t have a single Urban Outfitters so visitors may be surprised to see the hipster aesthetic alive and well in Wolfville, N.S. and Sackville, N.B. Unless, that is, they realize at least half of students at Acadia and Mount Allison are from out-of-province. Still, as you can see from this Campus Style gallery, many east coasters prefer comfort to conformity. Photographer Andrew Tolson shot these while working on the upcoming 2014 Maclean’s University Rankings.
Stylish students on Canada’s biggest campus
You won’t catch the University of Toronto’s most fashionable students in blue jeans. That’s not say they’re overdressed but it does take colourful leggings or slacks and to stand out from the crowd. This is, after all, Canada’s biggest campus (pop. 58,000). Photographer Jessica Darmanin spotted these sartorial standouts while shooting for the 2014 Maclean’s University Rankings, out this fall.
It’s one big party this week from Acadia to Western
Instagram and Twitter feeds from Acadia to Western are bursting with photos of raucous football games, wild parties and budding friendships. We’ve gathered the best shots of #frosh 2013 so far and plan to post many more. Want to be part of our coverage? Tweet your frosh photos to @maconcampus now. Want more? Add us on Facebook and visit Maclean’s On Campus daily.
Why choosing the right field of study matters
It’s September once again—the start of another university or college year. For students heading to campus for the first time, it seems a moment of endless possibilities. And yet according to a recent study, a student’s future prospects may be largely decided the moment they pick their major.
First the good news. Canada has the highest level of post-secondary education among all 34 countries in the OECD. And earning a university degree will boost your earnings by an average of 30 per cent per year, as compared to a high school diploma.
However, research this week from CIBC economists Benjamin Tal and Emanuella Enenajor suggests the financial advantage accruing to university grads has been shrinking of late. The cost of an undergraduate degree has risen 20 per cent in the past five years alone. And the five percentage point unemployment rate differential that university graduates once enjoyed over high school grads has shrunk to a mere 1.7.
Charges are pending
A Portuguese Water Dog died of heat exhaustion after being left for at least three hours in a Volkswagen parked in a sunny lot at Acadia University on Monday, reports the King’s County Register. “One person tried to rescue the animal by smashing the windows and attempting first aid, but the attempt was too late,” according to the newspaper. “A 36-year-old Lunenburg man, owner of the dog and the registered owner of the vehicle, was later located nearby… Charges are pending.”
It’s not just dogs that die this way. Two Canadian toddlers died after being left in hot cars in July. Maclean’s recently spoke with Jodie Edwards, a college professor at a small Ohio university whose 11-month-old daughter Jenna was accidentally left in a hot vehicle. It’s a heartbreaking interview.
Ghyslain Raza now a proud law school grad
Almost a billion viewers across the planet know him as the Star Wars Kid, but they’ve never heard him speak, until now.
Ghyslain Raza was a normal high-school student in small-town Quebec back in 2002, a shy 14-year-old who liked to make videos. In 2003, classmates posted one of those videos on the Internet without his knowledge–in it, Raza wields a makeshift light saber, clumsily imitating a Star Wars Jedi knight.
The video went viral, and the Trois-Rivières teen became one of the earliest and highest-profile victims of a massive cyberbullying attack, one that played out among classmates and strangers online.
“What I saw was mean. It was violent. People were telling me to commit suicide,” the now-25-year-old recalls.
Video interview spreads across social media
A McGill student who was raped has told her story publicly for the first time to TV McGill. The video interview is spreading fast on Facebook and has already been viewed more than 5,000 times.
Sarelle Sheldon says she was out with a couple of friends at a Montreal bar when a guy who she had been “trying to give the cold shoulder” started talking to her. Her friends went upstairs. After that, things got fuzzy. She woke up in the hospital with police, doctors and social workers who said she was raped and found in an alleyway with almost no clothing. She remembers the man from the bar holding her against a wall. She remembers scratching him. That was only the beginning of the pain. She alleges that the police didn’t take her case seriously enough. The rapist wasn’t caught.
Sheldon says McGill refunded her courses and a university counsellor helped her work through the trauma. “It’s not something you can handle on your own and you may not be comfortable speaking with your friends and family,” she advises, “but you need to get it out.” Watch Breaking the Silence.
(Video credit: Cedric Yarish, Spencer Macnaughton)