Education October 20, 2017: McGill remains on top of Maclean’s University Rankings for 2018

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EDUCATION

McGill remains on top of Maclean’s University Rankings for 2018

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

McGill again topped Maclean’s Magazine University Ranking in 2018 and has retained the number one spot for the past 13 years. Wikipedia Commnons

It is lucky number 13 for McGill University, as the Montreal school tops Maclean’s Magazine University Ranking in 2018 for the 13th straight year. Maclean’s Magazine released their 2018 University Ranking on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, again giving Canada’s most prestigious university their top honors. Simon Fraser University remained number one in the Comprehensive category for the fourth year in a row, while the Mount Allison University regained the top spot in the Primarily Undergraduate category. The University of Toronto took the №1 spot in the reputation survey again this year, and Bishop’s University is the Top School by Student Satisfaction.

The most significant of the Maclean’s ranking lists is their Medical/Doctoral category, focusing on the major research universities. Maclean’s explains universities in this category include “a medical school and a wide range of research and Ph.D. programs.” McGill again topped the list this year and has retained the number one spot for the past 13 years. Maclean’s boasts McGill’s illustrious alumni of “change-makers,” its doctorate programs, and ‘groundbreaking and innovative” research.

Maclean’s notes, McGill “has also produced more Rhodes Scholars (142) and Nobel laureates (12) than any other university in Canada.” McGill has an addition being located in Montreal, the QS World University Rankings the best student city in the world for 2017. McGill was able to beat the competition despite funding problems that have been plaguing the university in the past couple of years. McGill also was in the bottom quarter of universities ranked when it came to “per-student operating budget,” as the McGill Reported noted. McGill’s libraries, however, were lauded for their “stellar performance.”

The top six of the category remained the same for the second year in third year in a row with Toronto in second, UBC in third, followed by Queen’s in fourth, Alberta in fifth and McMaster Universities in sixth place. There was, however, a lot of movement in the last four spots of the top 10. Western Ontario moved up to seventh after tying for eighth last year. Dalhousie moved down again from seventh back to eighth. Ottawa moved down one again back to tie for ninth place this time with the University of Calgary, who was in last year’s tenth place position.

Maclean’s explains the reason for their three main ranking lists saying they “place universities into three categories to recognize the differences in levels of research funding, the diversity of offerings and the breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs.” McGill has a reputation as the Harvard of the North and rightfully keeps its spot as the nation’s best at the top of the Medical Doctoral category.

McGill’s Principal Suzanne Fortier was pleased with Maclean’s ranking results. Fortier issued a statement saying, “We are delighted to see McGill recognized once again as Canada’s leading university according to the Maclean’s yardstick. All members of our McGill community can take pride in this accomplishment. I salute our alumni for the solid foundation of excellence they have built in our great university and congratulate all the students, professors and staff for their commitment to the values of McGill.”

The Comprehensive category is described as universities “with significant research, undergraduate, and graduate programs as well as professional schools,” but are not as research focused, and do not have Medical schools. This year Simon Fraser University again topped the category for “the fourth year in a row” and now 14 times in the ranking’s history. Only three other schools have ever topped the comprehensive category, the University of Victoria, which moves up again to the second place, University of Waterloo, who again drops one back to third place. The University of Guelph remains in fourth place and Carleton University stays at fifth place.

There was a lot of movement in the bottom half of the top ten. Although the University of New Brunswick remains in sixth place, it is now tied with Wilfrid Laurier University, which has moved up three from ninth. Both Memorial and York University, who last year had been tied for seventh place moved down and are now tied for eighth. While Concordia stays at tenth place rounding out the top ten.

The Primarily Undergraduate category features universities who focus on their undergraduate program. The biggest changes in this year’s rankings come from the primarily undergraduate category. Mount Allison University catapults back to the top moving up one. Previously Mount Allison topped the list for eight years until UNB dethroned the school. The University of Northern British Columbia (UNB) now trades places with Mount Allison and moves down to the second spot after two years assuming the top position. Trent and Lethbridge Universities trade places as well, with Trent moving up one to third and Lethbridge down one to fourth.

The middle of the top ten remained the same as last year. Acadia, St. Francis Xavier, and Saint Mary’s Universities each stayed in the fifth, sixth and seventh positions respectively, that they were in last year. Two universities reentered the top ten after a year hiatus, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Lakehead University where both last year tied for the eleventh spot, now they moved up, UOIT to eighth and Lakehead into the ninth slot. Rounding out the top ten is the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), who drops two spots to tenth.

Macleans’ rankings do not have drastic changes from year to year because of the methodology they use, relying on as the magazine explains, “research funding and university spending don’t vary wildly from year to year, and student and faculty awards, as well as publications and citations, are counted over a five-year period. Twelve of the 14 ranking indicators are derived from data from third-party sources, such as the three major federal granting councils (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) and Statistics Canada. The other two indicators are based on a reputational survey and a student survey. These surveys are subjective, and people criticize them-or praise them-for that very reason.”

The Maclean’s Reputation Ranking is the most controversial list in their annual rankings, because it is subjective, taking their results from a survey completed by “university faculty and senior administrators, high school guidance counselors, and a variety of businesspeople.” The list looks at the universities’ quality and innovation. This year, Maclean’s assembled one list, the National reputational ranking with all 49 universities represented from the Primarily Undergraduate, Comprehensive and Medical/Doctoral categories.

The national reputation ranking is similar to last year’s Best Overall Reputation ranking. Maclean’s Reputation Survey has the University of Toronto again on top, followed by Waterloo remaining in second, then the University of British Columbia staying third, and McGill remains in fourth. Rounding out the top five is the University of Alberta. Maclean’s still has separate reputation surveys for each category under their overall lists. The University of Toronto is also the top under the Medical/Doctoral categories, the University of Waterloo tops the Comprehensive category, while Mount Allison tops the Primarily Undergraduate reputation survey.

Maclean’s shook up their rankings two years when they added a student survey called “Students Favorite Schools.” Since then the name has changed to the Student Satisfaction survey and is now combined to rank the schools in all the three categories. This year Bishop’s University topped the list, last year Bishop’s was the student’s chosen school in the Primarily Undergraduate category. Each category still maintains their individual ranking, under their category’s overall ranking. This year, the top Medical/Doctoral school among students was the Université de Sherbrooke, who was number 13 in their category overall, Wilfrid Laurier was the top comprehensive school, but tied for sixth in their category, and Bishop’s was also the top choice also in the Primarily Undergraduate category, although it was only tied for eleventh in its category.

Maclean’s three major rankings Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive, and Primarily Undergraduate use the same methodology to determine the lists’ rankings. There are six performance indicators; students and classes account for 20 percent of the grade, Faculty also 20 percent, Resources account for 12 percent, Student Support at 13 percent, Library at 15 percent, and Reputation weigh heavily at 20 percent.

Here is Maclean’s top 10 in their Medical/Doctoral category and includes the university’s 2017 positions:

1 McGill [1]
1 Toronto [2]
3 UBC [3]
4 Queen’s [4]
5 Alberta [5]
6 McMaster [6]
7 Western [*8]
8 Dalhousie [7]
*9 Calgary [10]
*9 Ottawa [*8]

Comprehensive category’s top 10:

1 Simon Fraser [1]
2 Victoria [3]
3 Waterloo [2]
4 Guelph [4]
5 Carleton [5]
*6 New Brunswick [6]
*6 Wilfrid Laurier [9]
*8 Memorial [*7]
*8 York [*7]
10 Concordia [10]

Primarily Undergraduate category’s top 10:

1 Mount Allison [2]
2 UNBC [1]
3 Trent [4]
4 Lethbridge [3]
5 Acadia [5]
6 St. Francis Xavier [6]
7 Saint Mary’s [7]
8 UOIT [*11]
9 Lakehead [*11]
10 UPEI [8]

National reputational ranking top 10:

1 Toronto [1]
2 Waterloo [2]
3 UBC [3]
4 McGill [4]
5 Alberta [5]
6 McMaster [7]
7 Western [8]
8 Queen’s [6]
9 Simon Fraser [10]
10 Calgary

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

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Education February 8, 2017: McGill still tops Maclean’s University Rankings for 2017

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

EDUCATION

McGill still tops Maclean’s University Rankings for 2017

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The most prominent university ranking in Canada is Maclean’s Magazine University Ranking and McGill University continues to be the country’s top school. Maclean’s Magazine released their 2017 University Ranking online and as a guidebook on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, where for the 12th straight year McGill University topped the list in the Medical Doctoral category. Simon Fraser University remained number one in the Comprehensive category for the third year in a row; while the University of Northern British Columbia retained the top spot in the Primarily Undergraduate category, while the University of Toronto took the №1 spot in the reputation survey.

The most significant of Maclean’s’ ranking lists is their Medical Doctoral category, focusing on the major research universities. Macleans explains universities in this category include “a medical school and a wide range of research and Ph.D. programs.” McGill again topped the list this year and had retained the number one spot for the past 12 years. McGill was able to beat the competition despite funding problems that have been plaguing the university in the past couple of years.

There was no movement in the top six of the category with Toronto in second, UBC in third, followed by Queen’s in fourth, Alberta in fifth and McMaster Universities in sixth place. There was a lot of movement in the last four spots of the top 10. Dalhousie moved up again from eighth to seventh again. Ottawa moved up from tied for ninth and Western Ontario moved down from seventh to both being tied for eighth. Meanwhile, the University of Calgary moved down one to tenth place.

Maclean’s explains the reason for their three main ranking lists saying they “place universities into three categories to recognize the differences in levels of research funding, the diversity of offerings and the breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs.” Student satisfaction has affected ranking for the major universities that have students that commute, including McGill in Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa. McGill has a reputation as the Harvard of the North and rightfully keeps its spot as the nation’s best at the top of the Medical Doctoral category.

McGill’s Principal Suzanne Fortier was pleased with Maclean’s ranking results. Fortier issued a statement saying, “Our leading position in scholarships and bursaries in this ranking underscores our commitment to ensuring accessibility to education for all talented students, regardless of their financial means. As we always note, rankings are not an exact science, and different rankings measure different things. But we are proud of the qualities and efforts that have kept us atop the Maclean’s ranking for the past 12 years.”

The Comprehensive category is described as universities “with significant research, undergraduate, and graduate programs as well as professional schools,” but are not as research focused, and do not have Medical schools. This year Simon Fraser University again topped the category for “the third year in a row” and 13 times in the ranking’s history. Only three other schools have ever topped the comprehensive category, the University of Waterloo, which is second, University of Victoria, in third place and the University of Guelph, which is this year’s fourth place school. Most of the top ten remained the same with just some minor movements; the biggest change was last year’s ninth place Ryan University dropping out of the top ten.

The Primarily Undergraduate category features universities who focus on their undergraduate program. University of Northern British Columbia (UNB) remains on top for the second year in a row. Mount Allison University, who had topped the list for eight years until last year when it fell to fourth, rebounded back to second place. Lethbridge University retains the third spot, Trent moves down two to fourth place, and Acadia remains in the same spot rounding out the top five.

The significant changes in the list come in the top ten’s last two spots, Bishop’s University enters the list in ninth place moving three, with Laurentian University moving back into the top ten, up one to tenth place. Leaving the top ten is Lakehead University, which as in ninth place last year and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, which held the tenth place last time.

Macleans’ rankings do not have drastic changes from year to year because of the methodology they use, relying on as the magazine explains, “research funding and university spending don’t vary wildly from year to year, and student and faculty awards, as well as publications and citations, are counted over a five-year period. Twelve of the 14 ranking indicators are derived from data from third-party sources, such as the three major federal granting councils (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) and Statistics Canada. The other two indicators are based on a reputational survey and a student survey. These surveys are subjective, and people criticize them-or praise them-for that very reason.”

Macleans’ Reputation Survey is the most controversial lists in their annual rankings, because it is subjective, taking their results from a survey completed by “education and business leaders,” “asking for their views on quality and innovation at Canadian universities.” This year the survey was conducted entirely online. Maclean’s publishes four reputation rankings, Best Overall, Highest Quality, Most Innovative, and Leaders of Tomorrow, with 49 universities represented in all four lists.

Maclean’s Reputation Survey has the University of Toronto again topping the “Best Overall” list, followed by Waterloo moving up to second, then the University of British Columbia falling to third, and McGill falling to fourth. Before last year, Waterloo dominated the list appearing at the top for 19 times. In Highest Quality, Toronto is also on top followed by McGill and Waterloo, with UBC moving down to fourth.

In the Most Innovative, Waterloo again tops the list, with Toronto second and McGill swapping places with UBC for third, and UBC falls to fourth. The Leaders of Tomorrow reputation list had Toronto moving up two to the top spot, followed by UBC remaining second, while former number one Waterloo dropped to third, and McGill remained in fourth place.

Except from some universities changing places in the later part of the top ten, the list remained intact with two exceptions; Universite de Montreal entered the Most Innovative list moving up four to ninth place, while the University of Western Ontario joined the Leaders of Tomorrow reputation list moving up four to eighth place.

Maclean’s shook up their rankings last year adding a student survey called “Students Favorite Schools.” The info compiled produced far different top universities in each of the three categories. Students named Université de Sherbrooke the top Medical Doctoral University, the Wilfrid Laurier University, the top in the Comprehensive category, and Bishop’s University remained the top Primarily Undergraduate University. The survey asked students about “course instructors, student life staff and administrative staff” and added two additional questions this year on “academic advising staff and experiential learning.”

Maclean’s continued the tradition they started last year to included program rankings, looking at the top 10 universities for each of the ten programs they profiled. The majority of the programs are STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics related and include the following, engineering, geology, psychology, mathematics, environmental science, biology, nursing and computer science programs. Only two programs ranked where outside of STEM subjects, business and education.

Maclean’s new methodology relies more heavily on citations, “Maclean’s worked with Amsterdam-based Elsevier, which operates Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature in the world, to assess the number of papers and the impact of professors’ research at Canadian universities.”

Maclean’s three major rankings Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive, and Primarily Undergraduate use the same methodology to determine the lists’ rankings. There are six performance indicators; students and classes account for 20 percent of the grade, Faculty also 20 percent, Resources account for 12 percent, Student Support at 13 percent, Library at 15 percent, and Reputation weighs heavily at 20 percent.

Here is Maclean’s top 10 in their Doctoral-Medical category and includes the university’s 2017 positions:

1 McGill University (1)
2 University of Toronto (3)
3 University of British Columbia (UBC) (3)
4 Queen’s University (4)
5 University of Alberta (5)
6 McMaster University (6)
7 Dalhousie University (8)
8 University of Ottawa (*9)
8 University of Western Ontario (7)
10 University of Calgary (*9)

Comprehensive category’s top 10:

1 Simon Fraser University (1)
2 University of Waterloo (3)
3 University of Victoria (2)
4 University of Guelph (5)
5 Carleton University (4)
6 University of New Brunswick (6)
7 Memorial University (7)
7 York University (7)
9Wilfrid Laurier University (10)
10 Concordia University (10)

Primarily Undergraduate category’s top 10:

1 University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) (2)
2 Mount Allison University (4)
3 Lethbridge University (3)
4 Trent University (2)
5 Acadia University (5)
6 St. Francis Xavier University (5)
7 Saint Mary’s University (5)
8 University of Prince Edward Island (8)
9 Bishop’s University (12)
10 Laurentian University (11)

Maclean’s Reputation Survey top 10

Best Overall University Highest Quality Most Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow
1 Toronto 1 2 1
2 Waterloo 3 1 3
3 UBC 4 4 2
4 McGill 2 3 4
5 Alberta 7 6 5
6 Queen’s 5 7 6
7 McMaster 6 5 7
8 Western 8 9 12
9 Montréal 9 13 8
10 Simon Fraser 11 10 10

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.