Queen's University

Renewed participation in university rankings

 
2011-04-28

Queen’s will participate in this year’s round of global and domestic university rankings, recognizing that they play a valued role in both undergraduate and graduate student recruitment. They also often provide the only institutional profile available to international students prior to applying.

“Participating in global rankings increases Queen’s visibility and helps toward building our international reputation,” says Ugo Piomelli, Canada Research Chair in Computational Turbulence. “In addition it raises the profile of individual research programs with perspective graduate students abroad.”

Rankings methodologies had come under scrutiny in recent years. Some universities including Queen’s were concerned that inconsistent criteria and data used for comparing institutions did not accurately reflect their objectives, and some have participated in rankings selectively or not at all.

Last year, Queen’s decided not to submit information to the Times Higher Education ranking because of concerns about its methodology. As a result, Queen’s was not included in the Top 200 list. The Times has since changed its methodology.

“Queen’s is still concerned because the rankings focus mainly on research volume and intensity, and although Queen’s is one of Canada’s top research universities, our quality undergraduate student experience and out-of- classroom experience are not fully captured,” says Chris Conway, Director, Institutional Research and Planning. “This just means we need to work hard to tell the other side of our story – that we’re a balanced academy, excelling in both research and the student experience.”

Although both global and domestic rankings struggle with standardizing data collection and interpretation, they provide one of the few tools available to prospective undergraduate students and their families for evaluating universities.

“With so many options, rankings help to reassure parents and students about their decision to attend a given university,” says Andrea MacIntyre, the university’s international admission manager.

Queen's position in rankings is one of the top three concerns among prospective undergraduate students, particularly in China and India, where the national education systems focus heavily on class standings from the early stages of education.

Queen’s will provide data to the three primary international ranking exercises: the Times Higher Education, QS World University, and the Academic Review of World Universities (ARWU), formerly known as the Shanghai rankings.

Queen’s will continue to have a presence in Maclean’s and Research Info Source projects, which rely entirely on third-party and pre-published data. The university will also participate in the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report (CUR) for which it facilitated a student survey earlier this year.

Rankings are published in the fall.
 

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