TRU not included in Maclean’s university rankings

Open Learning and diploma programs make for difficult assessment, says Maclean's and TRU

Maclean’s magazine has released their annual university rankings, but readers won’t find TRU on the list. The reason, according to both Maclean’s and TRU, is that the university is too difficult to categorize to be ranked against other institutions.

“The diversity of our programs, staff and students makes it impossible for them to assess us,” said TRU’s VP of Advancement, Chris Seguin.

Mary Dwyer, the senior editor at Maclean’s in charge of the university rankings said that Maclean’s does not rank TRU or other former university-colleges in B.C. because their system is “designed to measure performance based on students and faculty in degree programs.” According to Dwyer, TRU’s large number of diploma students and laddering programs makes Maclean’s degree-program-based rankings difficult to apply.

Students at TRU can switch between diploma and degree programs, and so according to Dwyer “it is not possible to get clear figures on the number of students in degree programs or the faculty teaching in degree programs.”

Maclean’s ranks universities in three categories: Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive and Primarily Undergraduate. TRU does not easily fit into any of these categories.

TRU’s large number of Open Learning and online students also sets it apart from other institutions. Dwyer said that “many of our ranking measures don’t apply as well to online and Open Learning students.”

“As universities evolve and become more open and online, and as the populations of our peers change, they will be forced to change how they measure us,” Seguin said.

Seguin also said that TRU has supplied data to Maclean’s in the past and discussed the assessment with their editors and stakeholders. TRU completed Maclean’s annual survey using data from institutional planning and analysis in August. Although TRU was not included in the rankings, the data was included in a university profile that ran in Maclean’s online education hub.

Amongst the universities that were ranked, UNBC took the top spot in the Primarily Undergraduate category, McGill won the Medical Doctoral category and SFU was the best Comprehensive university in the country.