What are you looking for in a postsecondary education? Whether your interest is literature, biology, agriculture or space engineering, or you're still figuring out what you like, with universities big and small in urban and rural settings, each Canadian school offers something different.
In the Canadian University Report 2017, we investigated how universities are preparing today's students for tomorrow's rapidly changing world and work force, from offering placement programs to continuing education. More generally, we spoke to students, faculty and university officials to find out how the country's universities measure up against each other and what makes them unique.
We also collected data on affordability, financial aid, library spending, student satisfaction, retention, degree completion, student achievement, reputation, research funding, teaching awards and more, from publicly available sources. As always, we focused on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), a major survey that asks students questions that get at the heart of the most vital element of a great education. What follows are profiles that offer a snapshot of undergraduate education at more than 60 of Canada's universities.
Are you focused on affordability? Or do you care about finding a work placement alongside Canada's leading entrepreneurs? Maybe you're basing your decision on a school campus library or on the research opportunities in its labs. Use the legend and icons to learn where each university shines.
Costs reported include tuition and compulsory fees (including medical and dental insurance). The legend and icons indicate whether a university has costs that are average ($) or considerably higher ($$) or lower ($) than the provincial average – at least $300 above or below the provincial average.
NOTE: At least $300 above or below the provincial average. For Ontario costs, the data set (CUDO) was incomplete, so last year's measurement was used. For Quebec costs, given that most Globe and Mail readers are not Francophones, out-of-province fees were used.
We recognize universities that are average (yellow), above average (green) or below average (red) in terms of the scholarships and bursaries awarded as a percentage of their overall budget, when compared with other universities in their province (for British Columbia: at least 50 per cent below or above the provincial average; for Ontario: at least 20 per cent below or above the provincial average; regional comparisons were used for the Prairies and the Maritimes).
NOTE: For British Columbia: at least 50 per cent below or above the provincial average. For Ontario: at least 20 per cent below or above the provincial average. Regional comparisons were used for the Prairies and Atlantic Canada.
As an indicator of research heft, we recognize the top 10 universities in the country, as measured by research funds awarded by the three major national research funding councils, with green. We also recognize universities that attract considerable research funding (more than $20-million from the research councils) with yellow.
NOTE: The top 10 by research dollars are from the three major granting councils. "Considerable" includes universities that receive $20-million or more in funding from the three research councils.
We recognize universities that specialize in applied or vocational learning.
Universities' per student spending on library is average (yellow), above average (green) or considerably (at least 50 per cent) below average (red).
NOTE: For Quebec: at least 20 per cent above to be considered above average or 20 per cent below to be considered below average.
For those universities that participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement, when senior students were asked to evaluate their entire educational experience they rated their university near average or average (yellow), or above (green) or considerably below average (red – defined as .2 points below the 2014 NSSE average).
NOTE: University of the Fraser Valley, Mount Royal University and University of Northern British Columbia did not participate in 2014; results are based on the 2013 survey.
OVERALL NOTE: *An asterisk beside figures indicates figures are from the university, rather than provincial numbers.