The 2017 Maclean’s university rankings were just released at the end of October, and St. Thomas University has dropped from 6th to 10th place in the “Students’ Favourite Universities in Canada: Primarily Undergraduate Ranking.”
However, STU tied in with Université de Moncton for 14th place in the Maclean’s “University rankings Canada 2017: Primarily undergraduate” category. This category is different from the “Students’ Favourite Universities in Canada: Primarily Undergraduate Ranking” as it uses Maclean’s formula and not student opinion.
But that doesn’t mean the rankings mean the world to STU.
“We don’t agree with how Maclean’s approaches their rankings, or even how they conduct them,” said Jeffrey Carleton, communications director of STU. “Even at the same time, there are some very positive things in the rankings which reflect well on STU.”
But do the rankings still matter to students?
“I’ve never even heard of that,” said first-year student Jerry-Faye Flatt.
Third-year environment and society student Alexandra Mootoosamy said she’s familiar with the rankings, but it never played a huge part in why she picked STU.
“Well I’m not sure how universities can compare to each other when they’re sometimes pretty different,” Mootoosamy said. “What makes a university good can be subjective and I was previously told that a degree in any Canadian university would have the same worth as one from a different Canadian university so I’m not sure of the importance of rankings.”
Maclean’s sometimes change their rankings year to year as well. For instance, STU was ranked second in teaching critical skills in thinking, top five for teachers who know your name and number 1 for teaching writing ability. However, the 2017 rankings omit these categories completely, leaving STU as the undefeated champ in teaching writing ability.
Clarissa Corey, another first-year student, said often rankings don’t matter, especially for students who already live in New Brunswick.
“I don’t think they are a main deciding factor. I think people base a lot of their choice on opinions of students who attend that school if it’s possible,” she said. “Students who are travelling further for school tend to be more considerate with rankings than those staying in the city or moving to one within a few hours drive.”
But for students who want some advice on how they should go about picking where to go for post-secondary, Mootoosamy said there’s more than just checking the rankings.
“It does give you a general idea of the university’s reputation but I think they should research each university they’re interested it more extensively to be sure of whether this is really want they want. Basically, ranking isn’t everything.”
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