Lau­rier, Water­loo score high in Maclean’s rank­ings

Lo­cal uni­ver­si­ties tops in sat­is­fac­tion and rep­u­ta­tion, Guelph also places well

Waterloo Region Record - - LOCAL - Jeff Hicks, Record staff

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.

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