Volume 91, Issue 84

Tuesday, March 10, 1998

Summer lovin'


Maclean's to publish college guide, rank biz schools

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

Maclean's magazine has new plans in the works to expand their coverage of post-secondary education in Canada.

Editors at the magazine plan to produce a guide to Canada's community colleges, similar to their yearly university guide. Maclean's managing editor Ann Dowsett Johnston said she saw the need to supply information on community colleges as well as universities for interested students.

She said the idea is only in its preliminary stages and the format for the college guide will be somewhat different than the university guide due to the higher number of colleges than universities in the country. There are about 150 community colleges in Canada compared to approximately 50 universities.

"We hope to design something less labour intensive, but it would supply the same kind of information," Dowsett Johnston said. The guide would contain profiles but not a ranking of the country's colleges.

Howard Rundle, president of Fanshawe College in London, said he would welcome the guide as he feels it would raise the profile of colleges in Canada. "We need to point out the role of colleges to the community because I think they are very misunderstood."

Rundle said the guide would be useful for not only high school students, but also the increasing number of university students who attend college after completing a university degree. "Colleges need to be shown as both an alternative and a compliment to other forms of post-secondary education." He added 10 per cent of Fanshawe's student population are university students, with the majority of those being Western graduates.

Cynthia Hilliard, executive director of the Ontario Community College Student Parliamentary Association – a provincial lobby group for college students – agreed the guide would be beneficial for raising awareness of community colleges. "The college system is only 30 years old – we don't have the history that universities do and there is a really high level of ignorance about what colleges really are," she said.

Another initiative Maclean's has in the works for this year may see Western in the spotlight. After last fall's ranking of Canada's law schools, Maclean's plans to rank the country's business schools this year, Dowsett Johnston said.

"This is a great idea it will definitely benefit our school," said Susanne Courtney, director of marketing and communication for Western's Richard Ivey School of Business. Courtney said Ivey is the only globally-ranked business school in Canada and it sets the standards for the rest of the country.

Western President Paul Davenport said he is generally not in favour of the Maclean's rankings. "The university guide is badly flawed and contains data that is inconsistent," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998