Top Ten

November 9, 2007

McGill highest-ranked public university in North America

McGill University took the #1 spot in this year's Maclean's university rankings' Medical Doctoral category, and made waves in the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) global rankings as well.  McGill placed #12 in the high-profile global rankings -- the highest rank reached by any Canadian school, and a 9-place jump from last year's #21.  Ten other Canadian universities also made the Top 200 schools in the world, including UBC at #33, uToronto at #45 and Queen's at #88.  McGill now can claim to be the top-ranked public university in North America.

Mount Allison & Acadia tie for #1 "primarily undergraduate" university

This year's Maclean's university rankings issue resulted in a high-profile tie: Mount Allison University and Acadia University were both named the #1 primarily undergraduate school in Canada for 2007.  MountA has previously ranked #1 in the category each of the rankings' first 11 years.  MountA also received high marks in student awards, library holdings, and number of out-of-province students.  2007 is Acadia University's first year in the top spot, after ranking #3 for the last 5 years.

2007 Maclean's rankings based on 9 fewer factors and only public data

Many schools saw their spot in the annual Maclean's university rankings shift this year.  In Manitoba, both the University of Winnipeg and Brandon University moved up the scale -- although uManitoba remained at the bottom of the list.  As a result of an information boycott of the rankings by several institutions, the number of factors used to produce the overall rankings dropped from 22 down to 13: entrance marks, graduation rates and alumni giving were not included this year, and reputation jumped up to represent 22% of the decision. 

First Nations leader says $2 billion needed to support equal education

"Canada is denying 10,000 aboriginal young people a post-secondary education because of federal underfunding," says Assembly of First Nations national chief Phil Fontaine.  Fontaine says $2 billion in new funding is needed to stop short-changing Canada's aboriginal youth.  There are 30,000 aboriginal young people in Canada's PSE system, but an additional 10,000 are barred by financial limitations.

Ken Steele talks to Maclean's about trends in recruitment marketing

University recruitment marketing in Canada is growing more aggressive and more creative, as youth demographics decline in many regions and schools are forced to look further afield. Notable examples in the past year were Memorial University's "Rant Like Rick" campaign, and Lakehead University's "Yale Shmale." Scholarship strategies are becoming more assertive, and campus services are expanding to meet the expectations of Millennial students. Academica Group's Ken Steele sat down with Maclean's last month to discuss trends in university marketing.

CMSF launches pilot project to improve PSE participation

38% of Canada's students do not pursue PSE.  The "Future to Discover" program, backed by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, intends to change that. 5,400 high school students in New Brunswick and Manitoba will be tested for factors such as career indecision, lack of interest in PSE, and financial barriers -- the most frequent reasons given for opting out of higher ed. The program will then evaluate the impact of various interventions on their ultimate PSE decisions. The early implementation report was released last week.

Saskatchewan says watch out for mumps in Alberta

Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer is advising students headed to Alberta to get their mumps vaccine before they head off for the January term.  In 2007, 31 cases of mumps were reported in Alberta, including 7 on campus at either uLethbridge or Lethbridge College. (Both schools proactively launched immunization programs this month).  There are no recorded cases of the mumps in Saskatchewan's adult population.

UCFV named top Western Canada employer

BC's University College of the Fraser Valley has been recognized as one of 3 top employers in Western Canada for the second year in a row.  The award is based on an online, anonymous survey of employees. UCFV took first place for its "high levels of openness and transparency in the workplace."  The Associate VP of Employee Services at UCFV reports that the competition for strong employees is "fierce," and that the school focuses on what differentiates it from other employers to win quality workers to its staff. 

uSask campus to receive essential services during strike

After days of conflict, the University of Saskatchewan and CUPE 1975 have reached a limited agreement regarding essential services that will be delivered during the ongoing strike.  The services that will be kept available include those relating to health and safety on campus, including keeping the heating plant up to provide heat, light, and water to the hospital, medical research and health services.  20 CUPE members have been offered to provide these services.

York plans "revolutionary" student portal for 2008

York University promises to launch a new online utility for students that will revolutionize relations with the university, by May 2008.  The new personalized and customizable web portal will be launched for the 2008 summer term, and will bring schedules, campus emails, reminders and announcements into a single web page.  uToronto and Ryerson University, as well as some of York's own departments, have already launched similar web portals with considerable success.  The portal will replace the "Current Students" section of the website.