The Globe and Mail's Canadian University Report's profiles of more than 70 universities across the country give snapshots on many factors, from educational experience to the feel of the campus.
MOUNT ALLISON UNIVERSITY
Mount Allison University is a school of firsts. It is the first university to introduce campus-wide Internet access, offer a Canadianstudies program and, in Canada, grant a bachelor of arts degree to a woman.
Over the years, Mount Allison has expanded its efforts in environmental research, drawing in students eager to study in related fields such as aquatic sciences and climate change. It is also in the process of repurposing existing buildings to establish the Centre for Environmental Innovation.
Fifteen scientists focused on environmental and life sciences will work together in the research facility.
In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action, Mount Allison dubbed its 2016-17 school year the "Year of Indigenous Knowing." The year's milestones include new Indigenous content in courses, the opening of an Indigenous gathering space and the first appointment of an elder-in-residence.
Students at Mount Allison generally feel more positive about their university experience than students attending other postsecondary institutions in Atlantic Canada.
UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK
Fredericton, Saint John
Tuition: $7,616.50 (Fredericton), $7,444.50 (Saint John)
The University of New Brunswick is comprised of two campuses – one in Fredericton, which has 78 per cent of the UNB student population, and a smaller one in Saint John.
Both locations have strong athletics departments with plenty of options for students to engage in sports, either as active participants or as viewers. At UNB Saint John, for example, students can set up their own club teams or join existing ones.
The university's faculty of nursing's partnership with Horizon Health Network and the Government of New Brunswick has led to the creation of a permanent building for the Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre (FDCHC), where nursing students can gain hands-on training while treating low-income and homeless patients.
ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY
With enrolment sitting at just 2,000-plus students, St. Thomas University provides small, intimate class sizes. Although STU offers exclusively liberal arts programs, it also has a wide selection of majors and minors for prospective students to choose from.
STU's liberal arts approach encourages students to develop abilities in analytical thinking and problem solving; research, leadership and team skills; as well as communication and cultural literacy.
The institution has one of the lowest graduation rates in Atlantic Canada, with an average of only 50 per cent of students completing their degrees in seven years.
NOVA SCOTIA ACADIA UNIVERSITY
Tuition: $9,434.90 (out of province), $8,151.90 (Nova Scotia residents)
Acadia University – a one-hour drive from Halifax – attracts students from more than 50 countries. Options abound for students passionate about research, as this university boasts numerous research hubs, such as the Centre of Lifestyle Studies and the Acadia Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computation.
At Acadia's new A Lab – an agri-food and beverages laboratory, which opened in June 2017 – researchers at the university are involved in studies in winemaking and the growing of grapes. Local winemakers are invited to visit the A Lab to have their wines analyzed here instead of sending their samples abroad.
In addition to Acadia University's faculties of arts, professional studies, and pure and applied science, students have the option of comprehensive studies in theology.
Students who are unable to study on campus can take online classes.
CAPE BRETON UNIVERSITY
Tuition: $7,989 (out of province), $6,706 (Nova Scotia residents)
This year, Cape Breton University expanded its academic offerings with the launch of its bachelor of arts and science in environment program. By combining courses in business, geology, biology and Mi'kmaq studies, this new interdisciplinary degree aims to cultivate skills that allow students to engage with issues relating to sustainability, community and the environment.
CBU is also increasing the number of open-access courses available, which can be taken to earn credit or a certificate of participation, or simply to satisfy one's curiosity. Students around the world can take advantage of these digital-access classes.
Nova Scotia-based students make up about 60 per cent of the student body and international students comprise approximately 30 per cent.
Canada 150 The typical classes at a university in 1867 would be some variation of the following courses: Classics; Mathematics; Natural Science or Physical Sciences; Modern Languages; Logic; Ethics; Theology; Philosophy.
SOURCES: University of Toronto archivist; University of King's College archivist; York University's Paul Axelrod
Halifax (main), Truro
Dalhousie University, Atlantic Canada's largest university, has a number of popular programs that include architecture, international food business and community design. It also offers programming in law, medicine and dentistry.
In addition to helping students gain experiential knowledge, Dalhousie's co-op program provides them with full-time paid internships. Co-op education is available to students enrolled in architecture, commerce, science, information technology and engineering.
Dalhousie offers comprehensive support to students who may be struggling academically. Personal coaching, tutoring and free workshops are available through the university's academic advising team at the Writing Centre or the Studying for Success Program.
UNIVERSITY OF KING'S COLLEGE
Tuition: $8,203.42 (out of province), $6,920.42 (Nova Scotia residents)
The University of King's College is Canada's oldest chartered university and one of the most competitive in Nova Scotia. The average high-school GPA of students admitted here sits at 88.9 per cent.
Many U King's students choose to enroll in the school's highly regarded journalism program.
Professors in the faculty of journalism urge students to write clearly, think critically and tell stories with impact in diverse formats. Learning in the classroom is complemented with handson experience, and journalism students are expected to complete an internship with a professional media organization in their final year.
Because U King's is in close proximity to Dalhousie, the two universities are joined at the hip.
Their shared faculty of arts and social science enables students to earn bachelor of arts degrees from both schools. U King's popular master of fine arts in creative nonfiction is also offered in partnership with Dalhousie.
MOUNT SAINT VINCENT UNIVERSITY
Tuition: $7,985.75 (out of province), $6,702.75 (Nova Scotia residents)
At Mount Saint Vincent, colloquially known as "the Mount," students can choose to take arts, science, education or professional studies. This year, Jillian Ruhl, an applied human nutrition graduate student at the Mount, led the installation of a honeybee hive – the first hive in Halifax located at a university. This initiative has introduced new learning opportunities for students, specifically those enrolled in nutrition and biology programs.
Experiential learning opportunities include co-op programs, internships, practicums and global experiences.
At the Mount, more than 70 per cent of students typically graduate within seven years, which is above the average in Atlantic Canada.
NSCAD University – also known as the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design – has three campuses, all located in downtown Halifax. The postsecondary art school, which follows a studio-based education model, provides students with a tight-knit artistic community, small class sizes, internship opportunities and a wide range of course options, such as sculpture, metalsmithing and photography. For students looking to gain admission, NSCAD considers candidates with a minimum high-school grade point average of 70 per cent.
Students who want to showcase their art in a professional studio should note that NSCAD's Anna Leonowens Gallery gives them the opportunity to exhibit their work before graduation.
In order to facilitate experiential learning, the school is developing an entrepreneurship minor.
It is also offering new graduates one-year artist residency programs within Nova Scotia.
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER UNIVERSITY
Tuition: $8,819 (out of province), $7,536 (Nova Scotia residents)
Although students at St. Francis Xavier tend to have higher-thanaverage student debt upon graduation, recent graduates demonstrate the lowest debt-default rate in Atlantic Canada. StFX also happens to boast the highest graduation rate in the province, with 74 per cent of students graduating within seven years.
The newly established Mulroney Institute of Government introduced new research themes to the school, including Canada-U.S. relations, climate change and the environment and women's leadership for global change. It also features a new undergraduate program in public policy and governance.
Students can apply to participate in the school's international exchange program during their third year. St. Francis Xavier University has sent its students all over the world, from Barbados to Thailand.
SAINT MARY'S UNIVERSITY
Tuition: $6,950 (out of province), $5,667 (Nova Scotia residents)
Saint Mary's University currently hosts students from more than 100 countries. The average size of first-year classes is small, typically seating no more than 40 students.
More than 40 per cent of SMU students choose to study at the Sobey School of Business, but there are also several program options in the arts and science faculties. In order to provide students with work experience, St. Mary's University offers co-op learning programs in the arts, commerce and science faculties.
This year, economics and finance student Naina Garg was awarded the prestigious 3M National Student Fellowship. Ms. Garg plans to use her new-found platform and the $5,000 she won to start a social enterprise project that addresses child labour and illiteracy in New Delhi, her home city.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND UNIVERSITY OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
In addition to its faculties of arts and science, the University of Prince Edward Island offers programs in business, education, nursing and veterinary medicine.
UPEI boasts small class sizes that provide students with easy access to their professors.
This year, TD Bank Group donated $350,000 for the new UPEI School of Mathematical and Computational Science, in support of programming, a new TD learning centre and experiential learning opportunities for students, as well as scholarships and awards.
The school has several Canada Research Chairs, and there are research opportunities for undergraduate students.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY OF NEWFOUNDLAND
St. John's, Corner Brook
Newfoundland and Labrador's Memorial University charges the lowest tuition in Canada, providing students with an affordable postsecondary option. MUN graduates tend to have lower levels of student debt compared to students who completed their degrees at other universities in Atlantic Canada.
Four campuses comprise MUN – two in St. John's, one in Corner Brook and a small campus in the town of Harlow, in Britain, where students and faculty can study and research abroad.
MD students Michael Bartellas and Stephen Ryan recently set up a collaborative 3-D printing space in MUN's faculty of medicine. They are using this venue for multiple projects, one of which is a collaboration with local high schools to make prosthetic hands to ship to Zimbabwe.
* Most recent available figure
** From website and not verified by university
*** Trimester system
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