EDITORIAL & OPINIONS
Trent? What the fuck?
According to Western students, we the shit.
The Globe and Mail’s University Report Card was released
yesterday and according to the rankings, Western is one of
the top universities in Canada when it comes to student life.
The survey was conducted online by Uthink, an online research
and youth marketing firm and The Strategic Counsel, a Toronto
survey firm. The two companies compiled responses to 100
questions from 26,400 students across Canada.
Western placed first in the country for having the best campus,
residences and number of course choices. Furthermore, teaching
methods, campus facilities, library services, online resources,
technology, access to computers and course material online
at Western all ranked in the top three in Canada.
The results of the survey, however, must be taken with a
grain of salt. the amount of respondents per university
ranged from 235 to 1,532 students. Does the response of
approximately three to five per cent of students at Western
really tell us anything about the quality of education
at this university?
Also, interestingly enough, schools such as McMaster University,
which carries a strong reputation for quality education,
finished near the cellar for quality of teaching while
schools such as Trent University and Brock University,
who offer the equivalent of a kindergarten education, scored
number one and three in quality of teaching.
It is very likely the rankings reflect the quality of respondents
and not the quality of the actual institution. Students who
attend superior academic schools such as Mac, the University
of Toronto and Queen’s University approach their education
with a more active and critical perspective. They expect the
best and will clearly voice their concerns if their chosen
institution does not live up to their standards.
On the flip side, Brock and Trent are more easily accessible
academically, therefore, the students may not expect as much
of their university — they’re just thankful they
were accepted and not flipping burgers at Wendy’s.
The survey is a step in the right direction because it gives
the student population a voice. But the survey just doesn’t
make sense with schools of note tanking while castoffs coming
out looking peachy keen. The right questions were asked, but
to the wrong people.
Therefore, take the survey for what it is: the perception of
schools from a small amount of their respective populations,
not a iron-clad rating of a school’s success.
And take Trent’s ranking for what it is: the opinion
of students who go to Trent.