Print Edition: November 13, 2013
On October 31, Maclean’s top Canadian university rankings were released, and UFV’s name was not on the list.
But before you start closing your textbooks in panic and running for another university, be aware that the system used by the magazine to rank universities excludes UFV from being evaluated.
UFV’s director of marketing and communications Leslie Courchesne explains that Maclean’s classifications are unable to take the diverse nature of UFV’s programming into account.
“Our model is different than many other universities’,” Courchesne says. “Maclean’s doesn’t include UFV in its rankings because [UFV is] a teaching-focused university offering everything from access and university prep programs, through to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as trades, technology, and apprenticeship programs.”
She goes on to explain that the programs ladder into each other, meaning Maclean’s can’t put UFV’s data into their ranking system.
In an interview with Star FM earlier this month, Maclean’s senior editor Mary Dwyer acknowledged that UFV’s unique structure makes it hard to place within the magazine’s rankings.
“It’s actually a great model, it’s very useful to students, but it means that I can’t pull out the student numbers or focus on the faculty who are teaching degree programs because that laddering model is in place,” she explains in the interview. “So it’s more a logistical reason why Maclean’s doesn’t rank Fraser Valley and [not a] reflection on the University and its quality.”
Prospective and current students do use this guide to help them decide which university they should attend. However, Courchesne hopes students consider more than just one list of rankings before assessing what UFV can offer them.
“I hope that UFV’s current students form their opinions and perceptions of UFV through their direct interaction with faculty, staff, fellow students, alumni, and their UFV experiences, both on and off campus, and on what they’ve learned here, and how it has transformed them.”
While it’s true that UFV is not recognized by Maclean’s, Courchesne points out that UFV has been ranked by other publications, all of which are open to students curious as to how the school ranks in comparison to other institutions.
“Students can access news and information both online and print …. including the National Survey of Student Engagement, Canadian University Survey Consortium, BC graduate outcomes surveys, and more,” Courchesne says. “[The] Maclean’s ranking is one source of information among many that students can use to form their opinion of a university.”