Fuelled by growing numbers of satisfied students and a cross-campus commitment to student health and well-being, Brock University has risen in key categories of the national Maclean’s University Rankings.
For the third year in a row, Brock University is ranked first among all comprehensive universities in Canada for mental health supports for students, according to the latest annual Maclean’s rankings released Thursday, Oct. 8.
Brock also rose to second amongst comprehensive universities in Canada for overall student satisfaction, a broad measure of current students’ feelings about their experiences at Brock. The University also jumped to second in academic advising.
The improved rankings across multiple areas of evaluation highlight the work the University has done to provide its students with an outstanding post-secondary education and student life experience.
The Maclean’s rankings are based on thousands of surveys from students across the country, as well as data from the universities. As a comprehensive institution, Brock is ranked against schools such as Waterloo, Simon Fraser, Ryerson, York, Guelph, Carleton and others.
“At Brock, the entire University community comprised of our faculty, staff and students, as well as our student and alumni associations, joined together to make Brock an outstanding university and to achieve these results,” said University President Gervan Fearon. “We have collaboratively worked very hard to reinforce our commitment to students’ well-being and to support the achievement of their education, research and professional development excellence at Brock.
“These gratifying results at the national level speak to the quality and commitment of the entire Brock community to our students, research initiatives and regional community engagement. Brock is on the move and our students are the winners.”
Lynn Wells, Brock Provost and Vice-President, Academic, said the continued top ranking for mental health and improvement to second from fourth in student satisfaction is “a testament to the phenomenal work we do to ensure the student experience here is among the best in the country.”
“With our move up to second place nationally in the comprehensive category for student satisfaction, we have cemented our status as a university of choice for students who value the total learning experience, including excellent classes and instructors, superior student supports and a positive community environment,” she said.
Other highlights from the student satisfaction portion of the rankings include Brock holding the third spot for student life staff, extracurricular activities and residence living.
Among the 15 comprehensive universities in Canada, Brock is also ranked fourth for steps to prevent sexual assault, fourth for promoting Indigenous visibility and fifth for experiential learning.
Anna Lathrop, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Students, called the Maclean’s rankings the result of a community effort.
“This ranking celebrates one of Brock’s key strategic priorities: the provision of a transformational and accessible academic and university experience,” Lathrop said. “Student experience is at the heart of all of our academic and student support efforts across the campus — and this ranking attests to our commitment to ensure a positive student experience is one that is linked to so many aspects of student life including mental health, academic advising, co-curricular experiences, residence life, inclusion and equity and of course, instructional excellence.
Lathrop pointed out that Brock has seen continuous growth in the number of students responding to the survey.
“Year over year, as our student participation rates in the Maclean’s survey have increased, we have seen a consistent increase in our student satisfaction rankings. This tells us that student voices are being heard. We will continue to listen, improve and be the preferred destination of choice for students across Canada.”
In the National Reputational Ranking, which uses a single field for universities of all sizes, Brock improved six places from last year to 32nd out of 49 Canadian universities rated. These rankings are determined from surveys of faculty, senior administrators and a variety of businesspeople across the country. In sub-categories, Brock improved 10 spots to 29th for most innovative, four spots to 26th for leaders of tomorrow and two spots to 34th for highest quality.
Brock also made Maclean’s list of some of Canada’s Best Programs, ranking Brock’s Education program 15th in the country.
The leaders of Brock’s student unions applauded the rankings, saying it’s a good sign for the future.
“Both Brock University and the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) are committed to continuously improving the experience that students receive at our institution,” said BUSU President Asad Jalib. “Our rankings are a reflection of the dedication to the Brock community that our students, staff and faculty have. As we go ahead, we look forward to pushing the bar even higher.”
Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) President Christopher Yendt agreed, saying the GSA is on board to work together in improving the student experience even more.
“The GSA is excited to see a number of critical initiatives undertaken by the University, in concert with the student associations, having a positive impact on the reputation of the University and its standing nationally,” said Yendt. “In 2020, graduate students committed to increasing their financial contribution to mental health services at Brock, and it is outstanding to see these investments reflected in a sustained No. 1 position for student mental health supports.”