Maclean's Ranking: UNBC is Still Best in the West

November 2, 2006
For the second year in a row, UNBC has been ranked by Maclean’s as the best small university in all of western Canada. This year, the University placed 4th in the magazine’s “primarily undergraduate” category.  The only universities that performed better than UNBC are at least 150 years old and all are in Atlantic Canada.  

The total ranking is made up from 22 individual measures, ranging from the average entering grade of new students to the number of materials in the Library. UNBC highlights:  

• Class sizes at UNBC are among the smallest of any university in western Canada. For example, nearly 70% of first and second-year classes have fewer than 25 students.  

• The quality of students at UNBC is very high. While UNBC provides access to students who graduate from high school with a 65% average or greater, 40% of new UNBC students entered with an A average. The average entering grade of all first-year students is nearly 82%.  

• UNBC faculty receive a large number of national awards and have one of the highest rates in the country for achieving a doctoral degree. Their ability to attract national research funding – particularly in the social sciences and humanities – has been rewarded with a #2 ranking.
• Likewise, the UNBC Library is second for the proportion of its budget that it spends on new acquisitions. Last year, the Geoffrey R. Weller Library spent $1.5 million on new materials, 42% of which was directed to acquiring electronic library resources (mostly through online services).  

“Even though it’s pleasing to see how we’ve succeeded in Maclean’s, it’s more important to us that we’re making investments in areas that simply make us a better university,” says UNBC President Don Cozzetto. “We’re awarding more scholarships and bursaries than ever before, we’re attracting more students, we’ve seen a huge increase in our research activity, we’re offering more courses in northern BC communities, and we’re developing new and popular programs. These kinds of activities don’t always pay off in Maclean’s but they make us more relevant to the province and to the North.”  

UNBC first participated in the Maclean’s university ranking in 1998. Last year, it also placed 4th, its highest ranking ever.  

Rob van Adrichem, Director of Media and Public Relations, UNBC – 250.960.5622  

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