The big decision: Which university is for you?

Ash Kelly, Globe, Mail, Nov 05, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The Globe and Mail ranking universities is a bit like Donald Trump ranking cars: they've been in one once, but they don't really know how they work nor how well they perform on a day-to-day basis. But oh my, they have opinions. And so with this survey of Canadian universities. It's not really a survey, of course. It's the Globe trotting out its particular (and out-of-step) political perspective and judging universities on that basis. Consider the criterion called 'citizenship' in the article (and 'positive change' in the tables): "considering their social entrepreneurship and global citizenship strategies." What do they mean by this? Are they fostering little Bill Gates clones? 'Research' is "measured by research funds awarded by the three major national research funding councils," but without noting that these Councils have all shifted to a business-partnership mode, so the criterion really measures ties with business. Universities are rewarded for spending on libraries, when they would really be conserving cost with open access books and journals and educational resources. And isn't it weird that the article lists the three English universities in New Brunswick but not the French one?

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