All Posts Tagged With: "21st Rankings"
How one mother coped when her daughter left for school
From the Maclean’s University Rankings—on newsstands now. Story by Ellen Vanstone.
I wasn’t actually planning to attend college with my daughter Eliza when her acceptance letter arrived in the mail last spring. That would be creepy—like the mother in that Robert Munsch book who stalked her grown-up son, breaking into his house to cuddle him while he slept. I am perfectly aware that the parentally appropriate, non-crazy thing to do when your child leaves home is to let them go and have their own life.
And yet, I still felt there should be some kind of special dispensation in my case—since the school that accepted my child was the Savannah College of Art and Design, on the Savannah River, in Savannah, Ga.
How your still-developing brain puts you at risk
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings—on sale now.
Heading off to university is a time-worn rite of passage, one that marks the transition from teen years to adulthood. Despite the new relationships, responsibilities and independence that come with leaving home, however, in our late teens and early twenties, we’re still not fully mature. Our brains keep developing well into these years.
When puberty hits, brain regions responsible for reward and pleasure kick into high gear, according to Temple University psychology professor Laurence Steinberg, author of You and Your Adolescent. But other regions, involved in decision-making and impulse control, are slower to develop—and don’t mature until our mid-twenties. “The accelerator is activated before there’s a good braking system in place,” he says. Teens in mid-to-late adolescence are prone to risky decisions, seeking rewards without weighing the consequences. Starting a new life on campus, these brain changes affect students’ lives in all sorts of ways—maybe pushing them to stay out drinking all night, sign up for a semester abroad in Europe, sleep right through class, or ask their crush out on a date.
The basics of studying abroad
From the Maclean’s University Rankings, on sale now. Story by Jane Bao.
Study abroad programs let students immerse themselves somewhere else, maybe halfway around the world, while earning credit at their home university. And depending on the field, a stint overseas could give grads a career boost. It’s not uncommon for engineers to work abroad, says Jean Choquette, an executive director at Université de Montréal’s engineering school, École Polytechnique. “Openness to foreign cultures, languages and methodology are part of the basic competencies that employers are looking for,” says Choquette.
Tuition is paid to the Canadian university—a good way around some hefty international fees—but students must count on travel and living costs. And the door swings both ways, allowing international students to study in Canada and meet their Canadian peers.
The perils of co-ed washrooms
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings. Get your copy today!
Some call it “the can,” others, the final frontier of gender equality: It’s the public washroom and it’s gone co-ed. Even though single-sex facilities are still the norm on the majority of Canadian university campuses, you’d be hard-pressed to find a school that doesn’t have at least one co-ed washroom—and it usually includes shower stalls. McGill, York University, the University of Toronto, Dalhousie, Mount Allison and the University of British Columbia are just a few of the “progressive” (or backwards, depending on your lavatorial leanings) co-ed washroom providers, earning the approval of campus feminists who view mixed facilities as a positive step towards full gender equality. Others, however, are not convinced. One 18-year-old Queen’s University psychology major says she was relieved to live in an all-girls dormitory solely because of the same- sex bathroom factor. Co-ed washrooms struck her as “grosser because boys used them,” says Jessica, now in her second year and living off-campus with a washroom of her own. “The girls’ ones were generally very clean.” Jessica would regularly make the five-minute walk back to her all-girls dorm from the co-ed dorm where many of her girlfriends lived, simply to avoid using the washrooms there. “It just smelled so much worse,” she says, before conceding, “maybe I just have bathroom phobia.”
Canada’s coolest undergraduate research opportunities
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings. Get your copy today.
Contrary to popular belief—and what you may see in the movies—academic research isn’t only for master’s students, and undergrads do more than just drink beer: they do research, too. In fact, there are lots of exciting collaborative research projects currently underway at universities across the country, where undergraduate students and professors are working together to help change the learning landscape. See for yourself, below.
University of British Columbia
UBC master’s students Samantha Brennan and Aidan Whiteley—with the guidance of their cartography and society professor, Jon Corbett—are still engaged in the research project they began as undergraduate students in 2009. When the Okanagan campus undergrads realized that forest ﬁre maps were inaccessible to the public, they enlisted Corbett’s help in building a fire-mapping tool that local residents could use to access data on burn areas, as well as review actual human experiences pertaining to the fires—as opposed to only facts and figures. Brennan and Whiteley’s project, which has been dubbed the “Facebook of forest fires,” also included real-time Internet videos and timelines.
Canadian schools have crazy fans and community too
From the Maclean’s University Rankings—on newsstands now. Story by Alex Ballingall.
We’ve all seen it: the near-ubiquitous image of the spirited American college student chanting a school slogan, streaking across campus or slogging back a beer from a Dixie cup in a stadium parking lot. It’s the sort of paint-your-body zealotry often depicted in Hollywood movies.
Doesn’t seem very Canadian, does it?
Certainly not according to the 2010 edition of The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges, a yearly publication out of Yale University that documents the strengths and weaknesses of North American universities. “One aspect of college life that Canada fails to offer is school spirit,” the guide stipulates. “Their attachment to their schools is not as strong as in the United States.”
A photographic tour of Canada’s highest ranked schools
*Indicates a tie
McGill, Simon Fraser and Mount Allison on top again in 2011
For the seventh year in a row, McGill University is ranked first in the Medical Doctoral category in the Maclean’s University Rankings, once again beating one-time king, the University of Toronto. Toronto, second again this year, has placed first in the category 12 times over the past 21 years. In third is the University of British Columbia. Queen’s is fourth. The University of Alberta is fifth.
So what’s given McGill such an edge? For one thing, McGill’s students win more national awards than Toronto’s. Another big factor is its student-faculty ratio. Toronto places dead last in the category (15), while McGill is fifth. On top of that, McGill dedicates more of its budget to scholarships and bursaries than any other school in the category. Toronto’s big advantage is its library collections—U of T trounces McGill in all four library-related categories. In the annual reputational survey, McGill has a slight edge too, achieving first place once again. But Toronto is catching up, having improved two positions since last year, from fourth to second. Two other Medical Doctoral universities improved by two spots on the reputational survey: Dalhousie University and the University of Sherbrooke.
In the Comprehensive Category, Simon Fraser University (1), the University of Victoria (2), the University of Waterloo (3), the University of Guelph (4), and Memorial University (5) all maintain their top-five positions. The biggest news in this category is that Brock University, Wilfrid Laurier University and Ryerson University all make their debuts, albeit in the bottom half. The three schools were moved into the Comprehensive category this year after recognizing both growth in their populations and increased graduate school offerings. Laurier has the highest debut—eleventh—on the strength of its reputation (7), faculty awards (5) and medical/science grants (4). In the reputational survey, Waterloo placed first among Comprehensive schools—as it does most years—while Simon Fraser, Guelph, Victoria and Ryerson rounded-out the top five.
In the Primarily Undergraduate category, the University of Prince Edward Island showed the biggest change, thanks in part to a strong showing in student awards, vaulting past Trent, St. Francis Xavier and Bishop’s to tie for fourth place with Lethbridge. It is bested only by Mount Allison University, Acadia University and the University of Northern British Columbia, which came first, second and third, respectively, in 2011. Mount A’s achievement is particularly impressive: it’s the fifteenth time that the Sackville, N.B. school has taken the top honour—a record number of wins. The University of Moncton also deserves commendation. Moncton moved up to fifteenth position, with the strongest showing on student/faculty ratio and an improved score on the reputational survey.
Maclean’s considers 14 numerical indicators of the quality of students, faculty, libraries and finances to rank 49 universities. Each is placed in one of three categories to recognize differences in levels of research funding, offerings, and the range of graduate programs. This year, three schools (Ryerson, Laurier and Brock) were moved into the Comprehensive category. For our complete 21st annual rankings, plus Canada’s best higher education journalism, pick up your copy of the 2011 Maclean’s University Rankings issue on newsstands Oct. 27. Here are the results:
Medical Doctoral universities offer a broad range of Ph.D. programs and have medical schools.
|2011 Ranking||School||Last Year|
* Indicates a tie
|2011 Ranking||School||Last Year|
* Indicates a tie
Primarily Undergraduate universities are largely focused on undergraduate education with relatively fewer graduate programs and graduate students.
|2011 Ranking||School||Last Year|
|6||St. Francis Xavier||(7)|
|17||Mount Saint Vincent||(19)|
* Indicates a tie
Want to know more about how we rank? Read Measuring excellence.