A university can be the best in the world when it comes to academics but does any of that really matter if students aren't satisfied? Canada's best universities are ranked based on how students feel about them. The new rankings for 2020 put students at the forefront.
According to rankings of Canada's universities done by Maclean's, student satisfaction is critical to understanding how good schools are.
Maclean's annual university rankings sort schools into five different lists. Their lists are for medical/doctoral schools and primarily undergraduate schools along with school reputation, a comprehensive list about all schools in all categories and finally a list of rankings based on student satisfaction.
"The student voice plays a crucial role in assessing campus life," the Maclean's ranking stated.
Because of that, the new student satisfaction survey is so important. According to Maclean's rankings, the top universities when it comes to comprehensive student satisfaction are Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Guelph, Carleton University, Brock University and Université du Québec à Montréal.
To get the rankings for the student satisfaction survey, students rated universities on a range of topics like instructors and staff members, mental health services, extracurriculars, and residence living.
The universities were also rated on issues like what steps the schools have to prevent sexual assault and how the schools promote indigenous visibility.
Wilfrid Laurier University ranked first and second in almost every topic except for mental health services (fourth), promoting indigenous visibility (third) and steps to prevent sexual assault (third).*
It seems that Ontario university students are especially satisfied with their schools because four of the top five ranked schools in the student satisfaction survey are in Ontario.
And eight of the 15 schools on the list are from Ontario.
Both Quebec and B.C. have two schools on the list.
The overall comprehensive rankings of Canadian universities show that there are stark differences between which schools students are satisfied with and which are objectively considered the best.
Simon Fraser University tops the comprehensive ranking but is only ranked at 14 in student satisfaction. Wilfrid Laurier University is ranked at six in the comprehensive ranking despite it being number one in student satisfaction.
According to Maclean's, schools in the comprehensive rankings "have a significant amount of research activity and a wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including professional degrees."