Laurier, Waterloo score high in Maclean’s rankings
Local universities tops in satisfaction and reputation, Guelph also places well
WATERLOO — Laurier is tops in student satisfaction. Waterloo is first in reputation.
So the two local universities can happily crow about their performance in the comprehensive category of the latest Maclean’s rankings of Canadian universities.
“We’re very pleased with this year’s rankings,” Laurier spokesperson Kevin Crowley said on Thursday.
“Student expectations and needs have changed a lot over the years. All universities are trying to improve the overall experience of spending four or five years on a campus. Laurier is right in there doing the same thing.”
Laurier, the student favourite two years running, ranks sixth in the overall comprehensive school rankings, tied with the University of New Brunswick. Laurier rose three places from a year ago.
Waterloo, recognized by Maclean’s as offering the largest post-secondary co-op program in the world, ranks third overall among 15 top comprehensive schools — those conducting some graduate-level research while offering a wide range of undergrad, graduate and professional programs. Last year, Waterloo was second.
In the reputation survey, Waterloo ranked most innovative of 49 universities.
“As far as surveys go, those are decent numbers,” Waterloo spokesperson Matthew Grant said.
“The university has remained true to its roots and traditions and continues to focus on things like co-op and experiential education, entrepreneurship, ties to industry. It’s nice to see that it’s recognized.”
Guelph remained in the fourth slot overall, while ranking second in student satisfaction and third in reputation.
The reputation survey asks university faculty, administrators, guidance counsellors, and businesspeople who hire grads to rate schools on overall quality and innovation.
In reputation, Laurier ranked 10th. In student satisfaction, Waterloo was 11th.
Crowley said Laurier has been working hard at improving student services, everything from mental health to residential life programs.
As well, he points to “experiential” learning opportunities — such as field trips to Puerto Rico, Chile, China and Poland — as student-pleasing excursions.
Laurier has about 19,000 students, mainly on its Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Waterloo has about 37,000 students at the main campus on University Avenue and satellites in Kitchener, Cambridge and Stratford.
Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria rank first and second respectively in the 2018 overall Maclean’s rankings among comprehensive schools.
Maclean’s considers several broad areas — including students, faculty, resources, student support and reputation — to weigh its annual rankings.