University Report Card

By their own account, the life of a Canadian University Undergraduate is a pretty satisfying one.

Regardless of educational institution attended, students from across the country report that they are at least “somewhat” satisfied with their overall educational experience; they are giving passing grades to their professors and are reasonably confident that their lessons will eventually prepare them for the workforce.

That however is the view of University life from 35,000 feet.

When analyzing the full breadth of the over 24,000 responses we received to the Second installment of the University Report Card, you cannot but be struck at how dramatically different the student experience is from one school to the next.

When the Strategic Counsel joined forces with UThink to use the Studentawards database to undertake the most comprehensive review ever conducted of Canadian University student’s attitudes to their educational experience, we assumed that we would find some significant differences (why, after all, set out to rank Universities, if this was not the starting premise?). Our assumption was that we would uncover great Universities, middling ones and some that failed to meet their constituent’s needs. In other words, we expected that the top-tiered Universities would be appreciated as such because they were beacons of excellence while the lower ranked Universities would do everything less well.

In some measure, this proved true. Students across the country rate their Universities in very different ways and are able to articulate their University experience in very precise ways.

But what was even more telling was that each of the 29 student body’s we interviewed had highly divergent and distinctive assessments of the school experience and as a result, every University in Canada appears to have their own divergent and distinctive personality.