The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) has announced the winners of its annual Prix d’Excellence, which recognizes Canada’s postsecondary institutions for excellence across 24 categories, including marketing, development, and student recruitment. This year, uAlberta led the group with seven awards, followed by uCalgary and MUN with five awards each. uToronto, uSask, UBC, and Trent each received four nods, with uWaterloo, UoGuelph, Sheridan, Queen’s, McMaster, and McGill each garnering three. 15 other PSE institutions across Canada received one or two awards.
The Financial Times has released this year’s rankings of the top MBA programs in the world, with 6 Canadian universities making the top 100. The Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto is the top-ranking Canadian business school, but dropped 3 places from last year to come in at 53rd. Second place in Canada goes to UBC’s Sauder School of Business (81), with the University of Alberta’s School of Business and Queen’s University’s School of Business tying for third in Canada and 86th overall. Both uAlberta and Queen’s re-entered the rankings this year. [CIEC Academic Member] Western University’s Ivey Business School (97) and McGill University’s Desautels School of Management (100) round out the remaining Canadian schools that appeared in the top 100. Harvard Business School topped the list this year, followed by London Business School in second. The rankings are based on surveys of business schools and alumni, including criteria such as the career progression of alumni, “idea generation,” and the diversity of students and faculty.
Queen’s University Principal Daniel Woolf has announced his goals and priorities for the coming academic year. Woolf committed to increasing the number of opportunities for expanded credentials, including opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning. Woolf also committed to sustaining Queen’s tri-council success rate, to supporting faculty engagement and development, and to maintaining Queen’s position among Canada’s top universities for faculty awards, honours, and prizes. Woolf pointed to the need to ensure the university’s financial stability by meeting its annual fundraising target, diversifying its revenue, and pursuing long-term sustainability for its pension plan. Woolf further intends to improve the institution’s international profile through increased international enrolment at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as through the growth of international collaborations and partnerships. Finally, Woolf committed to promoting and developing top-quality faculty and staff with strong succession planning, well-developed competency models, refined hiring practices, and discussion among Deans around the matter of faculty renewal.
Queen’s University has implemented a new program intended to help ease the transition of international students into life at the university. The Acculturation and Transition to Life and Academic Success (ATLAS) program allows international students to arrive at residence a day early to settle in and connect with fellow international students at an optional reception. Students can also participate in a number of activities and experiential learning opportunities to allow them to adjust to life in their new homes and learn more about the university and its services. “The aim of ATLAS is to give international students that soft landing at Queen’s so they can more easily fall in with the rest of the first-year students and be part of it all,” said Susan Anderson, Assistant Director of the Queen’s University International Centre.
The Financial Times has released its 2014 ranking of executive education programs at business schools, with 6 Canadian institutions making the list in the open enrolment category (top 70), and 4 in the customized programs (top 80) category. In the open enrolment category, University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management tied for 20th spot, followed by Ivey Business School at Western University (22); Queen’s University’s School of Business (28); York University’s Schulich School of Business (39); Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (49); and the University of Alberta’s School of Business (66). In the customized programs category, Rotman placed 42nd followed by Ivey (45), Schulich (57), and Alberta (77). uAlberta was a newcomer to both lists this year.
TCS Insights: Canadian institutions are continuing to see their reputations rise in 2014 as another ranking system has validated what Leiden, Times Higher Education and others have said. International students would do well to consider pursuing higher education in Canada.
Queen’s University has introduced a new Strategic Framework for the next 5 years that aims to “advance the university’s vision as the quintessential balanced academy.” The framework, which is closely aligned with the university’s Academic Plan and Strategic Research Plan, includes 4 priorities that support the university’s vision: the student learning experience, research prominence, financial sustainability, and internationalization. “While the framework sets priorities, it is not prescriptive,” says Queen’s Provost and VP Academic Alan Harrison. “Ultimately, it is up to each of the faculties and shared service units to identify the actions each of them will take to advance the university’s objectives and improve the metrics we measure ourselves by. Everyone has a role to play in the university’s success as we move forward.” The Queen’s principal and VPs will review the Strategic Framework regularly over its 5-year timeframe and develop progress reports for the Queen’s community on an annual basis.
TCS Insights: Over the next 5 years, Queen’s University aims to reach specific goals with the launch of their new framework. Among the priorities they hope to reach is greater internationalization. By increasing their number of international students, the university can raise their reputation in the international community while connecting bright individuals and preparing them for their futures.
Queen’s University Principal Daniel Woolf suggests in a recent blog that as PSE institutions increasingly aim to increase their international student populations they should make sure they are aware of the unique mental health needs of these students. Woolf points out that these international students can suffer from homesickness, language barriers, isolation and perceptions of not belonging. He also suggests that while Canadian students are increasingly open about mental health issues and more likely to confide in friends or university staff, international students may not be; “as such, they may well be harder for the system to ‘catch’ before they find themselves in serious trouble,” says Woolf. These issues must be taken into account when institutions plan for international student enrolment, he concludes.
TCS Insights: While many students are effected by their transition to life attending college or university, international students may have the most to cope with. Institutions must be aware of this when recruiting international students so that they can offer proper services should students find themselves in need during their studies.