All Posts Tagged With: "reputation"
Eight universities’ departments among top 50 worldwide
The QS World University Subject Rankings 2013 are out now. The London-based company’s report offers a rare peek at how our school’s history, engineering and law programs—30 subjects in all—are viewed internationally.
Unsurprisingly, the top three universities from the Medical Doctoral category of the Maclean’s University Rankings—the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and McGill University—are also the top Canadian schools on the list. Those three are top five in Canada in 29 of 30 subjects and top 50 worldwide in many.
The highest ranked Canadian subject is geography at the University of British Columbia, which is tenth globally. There are also several subjects in the top 15: environmental science at UBC along with medicine, philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, sociology, geography, education, English and history at University of Toronto.
Three Canadian universities made the cut
Business Insider has published an engineering schools ranking that answers the question potential students are most likely to ask. Which schools do my future employers think are best?
The ranking is based on a survey of 723 leaders including developers, engineers and others at popular tech companies. Each leader rated schools from “not valuable” to “most valuable.”
The Top 50 campuses were overwhelmingly American with a few contenders from Britain, India and Israel. Canada had three out of 50. The University of Waterloo, the darling of Canada’s tech sector, was #29. The University of Toronto was #35. The University of Ottawa ranked #44.
Toronto, McGill and UBC in top 25
Three Canadian universities are among the top 25 schools worldwide in the newly-released 2012 Times Higher Education Reputation Rankings.
The University of Toronto ranks 16th. McGill University and the University of British Columbia are tied for 25th place. No other Canadian school is on the top 100 list.
Our universities’ reputations outshine those in most other countries, especially when our relatively smaller population is considered.
Among the top 25 (which includes two ties) fifteen are located in the United States, four are in the United Kingdom, two are in Japan, and there is one each in Singapore and Switzerland.
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Cambridge took the top three spots.
Entertaining, if you don’t take it too seriously
Guelph is thought of as the cow college, even though agricultural students comprise only a tiny fraction of the student body.
The University of Victoria has a reputation for attracting laid-back hippies, even though it’s a research powerhouse that ranked second in the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings.
And Queen’s University? Well, its stereotypes are multiple… and legendary. Queen’s has a reputation for being an upper-crust, primarily-Caucasian institution where students drink to excess, have a lot of sex and think very highly of themselves.
Canada’s top two improve showings, but the rest fall down
QS World University Rankings has released their Top 300 schools of 2011. This year, Canada’s top two schools, McGill and Toronto, each edged up a notch. So did McMaster and Western Ontario. But every other Canadian school dropped down from their 2010 standing (offered in parentheses) and one school, Laval, fell off the list.
17. McGill University (19)
23. University of Toronto (29)
51. University of British Columbia (44)
100. University of Alberta (78)
137. University of Montreal (136)
144. Queen’s University (132)
157. University of Western Ontario (164)
159. McMaster University (162)
160. University of Waterloo (145)
218. University of Calgary (165)
234. Dalhousie University (212)
256. University of Ottawa (231)
260. Simon Fraser University (214)
292. University of Victoria (241)
About the methodology:
The rankings were derived mainly from a survey of 34,000 academics who ranked the schools from those producing the most world-leading research in their fields to those producing the least. That survey was weighted at 40 per cent. Reputation among employers, derived from a survey of 17,000 managers who hire university grads, counted for 10 per cent. Citations per faculty counted for 20 per cent. Faculty-student ratio (lower is better) counted for 20 per cent. Proportion of international students counted for five per cent. Proportion of international faculty counted for five per cent too.
The Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities, which uses only objective data, like citations per faculty — no reputation surveys were included — found in August that Toronto is the best in Canada, the University of British Columbia is second and McGill University is third.
Click to see how other Canadian universities made the World Top 500 in 2011.
Watch for the 21st Annual Maclean’s University Rankings — on newsstands in November.
“Unthinkable” to be compared to Waterloo, McMaster, Guelph
A leaked letter written by Queen’s University’s principal reveals a man who is worried about the school’s slipping reputation, its upcoming labour strife and ongoing financial struggles — which he beleives can only be overcome by more corporate partnerships. The letter was supposed by be a private list of his goals for the upcoming year, but it found its way onto Facebook and Twitter.
Daniel Woolf’s candour on the school’s changing reputation is most striking.
“At Queen’s, where the financial situation is particularly acute, the quality that once defined the institution is clearly being compromised,” he wrote to William Young, who chairs the Board of Trustees. “It would have been unthinkable 20 years ago that the quality reputation of undergraduate education at Queen’s would be challenged by Waterloo and McMaster …to say nothing of Guelph – but it is clearly happening.”
He goes on to say, “it is time to leverage our assets to achieve international recognition… the distinctive small-town Ivy League experience of a Queen’s education with its excellence in both teaching and research, should be embraced – it is this cachet that attracts students from around the world to Cornell and Dartmouth in the U.S. In Canada Queen’s is arguably the only university with this pedigree.”
He also says that the school must “attract many more international students (which is the longer term key both to greater revenue and greater global reputation).”
Then he suggests that the long-term financial situation will only be improved through more partnerships with corporations, citing Stanford’s partnership with IBM and MIT’s partnership with Nokia as examples. More corporate cash is needed because: “the past two decades have seen a complete reversal of the funding model for Ontario universities: 20 years ago 74% of our operating budget was provided by the province; today, that figure has flipped to 47%.”
He also suggests that his Principal’s Commission on Mental Health could be leveraged for funding. “It crosses directly into fund-raising, as there are corporations with a keen interest in this area (including Bell, which has already funded a Chair in the area (to be announced publicly in the fall).”
He does see some light on the horizon regarding government funding — but, in doing so, admits that quick growth has compromised the school’s quality.
“The good news is that Queen’s may not have to grow dramatically just to get what little provincial funding there is. In late May, at a speech I attended in Toronto, the Hon. John Milloy, Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced plans of replacing some per-student funding with performance-based support… We may revise our growth projections to take advantage of such a change, should it occur.”
Finally, he writes that his number one goal for the year is to “negotiate successful labour group agreements,” because he antcipates six months of labour unrest. He added that, “I appreciate the Board’s understanding that these disruptions, should they occur, will be unpleasant and potentially reputational-damaging in the short term, but they may be a necessary step in order to achieve success in salary restraint and pension reform.”
Near the end, he writes, “I would anticipate a summary of this document, duly adjusted for a public audience.”
The letter was posted by Ashley Ratcliffe to her Facebook in a “note” and then was circulated on Twitter.
Queen’s communications director Ellie Sadinsky told the Queen’s Journal that Principal Woolf learned that the letter had been leaked and circulated through his Twitter account. He defended the letter in a tweet to former Engineering Society President* Victoria Pleavin, saying “This is my annual ‘goals’ doc to the Board—a normal process; negotiated labour agreements are a priority, as stated.”
*This post originally named Victoria Pleavin as the president of the Engineering Society. In fact, the current president is Derrick Dodgson. We regret the error.
Deciding where to get your Master’s can be a tricky thing. Here are some tips
Got a question this week.
I am a mature student just finishing my first year of studies. Looking to my future, I will complete a Masters degree in Economics. My question to you is, does it really matter where I obtain my degree?
There were more details in the full question, but the fellow in this case has some fairly compelling reasons to stay one place. He also has concerns about the reputation and marketability of the degree. And he has some fairly significant professional experience. My answer is going to hinge significantly on this last point.
Reputation, employment prospects, all the intangible aspects of a degree at one institution vs. a degree at another … frankly, I would never pretend to be in a position to evaluate all of these things accurately. But I do feel the frustration from students and applicants as they realize they aren’t in a position to do that either. The fellow who wrote in this week put is as well as I possibly could, so I’ll just quote him.
Universities spend a lot of money on marketing, luring prospective students to their campuses. They post succession rates, average salary after the program, jobsites of recent graduates, etc. This leads the reader to believe that one school degree is better than another, depending on where the student wants to work, or how much money he wants to make. All of these statistics can be grossly misleading.
Hell yeah. That’s the problem boiled down perfectly to the essentials. This sort of data is very misleading. Even when the data is collected by third parties in a comparative environment it still relies, of necessity, on the self-reported success of students. And then it’s very rarely collected by third parties at all. When you get this data it’s almost certainly presented by the school itself, and all the inevitable problems of bias and self-interest creep in. It’s probably safe to assume that no reputable school is going to outright lie to you, but there are a lot of ways to create a false impression without actually lying.
For the sake of the guy who actually wrote in, I’ll sidestep this problem entirely and give him my advice for his particular situation. When you’ve got a student who has significant employment experience already, and other sorts of qualifications to stand on, the intangible benefits of one institution over another are much less significant. Even grades become less significant. The classic example is the business executive who needs a MBA to take the next step in her career. Getting the degree may be critical. But where it comes from and what sorts of grades she actually receives are less important.