Grant MacEwan University recently had nine “A” grades bestowed upon the school in the Globe and Mail’s ninth annual Canadian University Report.
The report results are going over well at MacEwan. David Beharry, MacEwan’s media relations advisor, says that a price cannot be applied to the importance of this sort of positive feedback from students about the quality education and facilities they receive from the institution.
“We can’t get a greater compliment than our students saying to a third party source that ‘Yeah, they are fantastic in this category, this category, this category,’” Beharry exclaimed.
MacEwan undergraduates Karey Rodgirs, Courtney Kayfish and Willow White say that the results seem to reflect what they enjoy about MacEwan.
Rodgirs cites a feeling of intimacy and approachability with professors, though she qualifies that “there are definitely exceptions.”
MacEwan scored higher than the University of Alberta in 15 of the 17 categories and tied for the two remaining categories.
Kayfish describes what she sees as an impersonal atmosphere at the U of A due to its large class sizes. “At MacEwan, you have smaller classes so the teacher can actually know who you are and help you out more,” said Kayfish. Conversely, she added that a degree from the U of A may be more recognizable post-graduation than one from MacEwan.
Rodgirs attributes MacEwan with being more contemporary than the U of A, while White points out students at MacEwan may be less competitive and more cooperative than those at the U of A. “Here, the people I go to class with are trying to help each other,” she said.
U of A undergraduate Adam Cembrowski cites a difference in focus between the two universities.
“I’m assuming that the reason Grant MacEwan did better is that they seem to focus on the students. The U of A is more of a research facility,” Cembrowski said.
He doesn’t necessarily see the difference as a bad thing though, adding that the U of A is able to offer opportunities that MacEwan isn’t currently able to offer.
The report is extracted from survey results of more than 35, 000 current undergraduate students. The report is split into 17 categories, with MacEwan scoring “A” in the following: most satisfied students, quality of education, student-faculty interaction, quality of teaching, lass size, buildings and facilities, technology, atmosphere and ease of course registration.
This edition of the Canadian University Report marks the first time that MacEwan has been included in the survey.
MacEwan received university status in September 2009, a change that Beharry describes as part of MacEwan’s “natural evolution.” MacEwan began offering full baccalaureate degrees in 2005 – a move that Beharry says was controversial at the time.
As for what’s next in the evolution of MacEwan, Beharry predicts that there won’t be any drastic changes because MacEwan is sticking with its strengths: small class sizes, a diverse faculty and a personal atmosphere.