Annual Maclean’s survey scores BU well in class sizes, library, and student services

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Brandon University continues to score among the top in the nation for providing small class sizes, robust library funding, and excellent student services support. Brandon University faculty were also among the top 10 for receiving national Social Sciences and Humanities research grants.

That’s according to the 2020 Maclean’s university rankings, which were released today. Overall, Brandon University ranked 18th in the Primarily Undergraduate category.

In that category, BU was ranked 2nd in Canada for its student services and library budgets, as well as 3rd in Canada for its student/faculty ratio.

“I am proud of the investments we make in these important student supports,” said BU President David Docherty. “The BU experience has always been characterized by the close relationships students can develop with faculty and staff, and we know that plays a huge role in their future success.”

However, Brandon University ranks poorly in areas like scholarships, total budget, and national reputation.

“Sure, it would be nice if BU had a bigger presence on the national stage, but we are proud of our local and provincial focus, and we continue to play to our strengths,” Docherty said. “That includes finding best value for taxpayer and tuition dollars in our budget. And modest scholarships can go a lot further here, with our very affordable tuition rates and our attractive cost-of-living, than they would elsewhere.”

In some areas where the university appears to lag fellow institutions, BU has already made significant investments. For example, Maclean’s ranked BU as last in experiential learning.

“Our experiential learning program is still fairly new,” Docherty acknowledged. “It is small but it is growing rapidly, and it has a 100 per cent retention rate this year. Employers are eager to welcome BU students into their workplaces, BU students are eager to gain experience, and we expect to grow this program very quickly.”

As well, many of BU’s strengths are not ranked in the Maclean’s system. The University is a national leader in providing opportunities for Indigenous students. However, the only measure of Indigenization in the Maclean’s rankings is the promotion of Indigenous visibilty as a factor in student satisfaction.

Other BU strengths are actually coded as penalties in the Maclean’s system. Maclean’s, for example, awards points for higher percentages of students who come from out of province.

“We are proud of being a local, regional university, with deep roots in Brandon, in Westman and in Manitoba.” Docherty said. “We might rank higher if we brought in more students from across the country, but when our students graduate and go back home, they pay dividends right here for decades to come. Three-quarters of our alumni continue to live, work — and support our communities — in Westman or in Winnipeg. Few other universities can boast that level of local impact.”


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