14th in Maclean’s… again

By Heather Moulton

Once again, the University of Calgary falls short according to Maclean’s magazine ranking of universities.

In our category, medical doctoral universities, we ranked 14th out of 15 universities. Defending their title, University of Toronto came in on top as the best medical doctoral university for undergrads.

Where did we fall short? Pretty much everywhere.

“The main reason we are near the bottom of the list is chronic under-funding from the province,” said the University of Calgary Faculty Association President Anton Colijn. “The provincial grant hasn’t gone up for a long time even though tuition continues to increase.”

“It’s not surprising at all,” commented Students’ Union President Bryan West. “Budget cuts affect us a lot, and both staff and student moral is very low because of it.”

The Maclean’s ranking is based on several categories: student body, classes, faculty, finances, library and reputation. U of C fell short in a lot of places, but Colijn was quick to defend the instructors.

“Calgary has a lot of great professors,” he said. “Many have PhDs and we don’t have anything to be ashamed about.”

West agreed.

“Our prof base isn’t bad,” explained West. “But it’s hard to compete with the salary expectations, and that’s where a lot of our money goes.”

The constant low ratings from Maclean’s have taken a huge toll on U of C’s reputation.

“Once a reputation is lost, it’s hard to regain it,” said Colijn. “Maclean’s plays a big role in keeping it low. The brute fact is that we don’t have enough money to run the programs we would like.”

West also agreed about money affecting the university’s reputation.

“We’re not getting the funding we need to be the university we want to be,” he said.

The validity of the ranking system is slightly controversial. Many people think that it’s not accurate because they don’t take the students’ opinions into account in the regular ranking categories. There is a survey directed at recent grads and they can rank their universities is several categories, but it doesn’t have the same reputation and importance as the regular rankings.

“If parents and students look at Maclean’s while they are choosing their universities, then it’s valid,” stated West. “If it’s important to them, then it affects us.”


Leave a comment