Volume 12, Number 7 November 19, 2004

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Grads score U of S high in new Maclean’s survey

Beats Toronto, Alberta McGill & UBC in poll

By Colleen MacPherson


A new Maclean’s magazine survey, this one assessing the university experience of recent graduates across the country, reveals a high level of satisfaction generally, but more specifically, it gives a ringing endorsement to the University of Saskatchewan.

When asked to rate their entire educational experience, 69 per cent of U of S graduates – who were pre-selected by their alma mater using guidelines prescribed by the magazine and its advisers – answered “very good”. This places the U of S 21st among the 46 participating institutions, and ahead of five that beat it out in the annual Maclean’s university rankings – McGill, Alberta, Toronto, UBC and Montreal.

When combined with the 28 per cent who answered “good” to the question, the U of S ends up with a 97 per cent approval rating. The magazine points out that combining the “very good” and “good” answers gave every participating institution a rating of 90 per cent or more.

Released Nov. 7 along with the annual university ranking, the Maclean’s poll asked eight questions of Canadian graduates from the classes of 1999, 2000 and 2001. Starting Sept. 10, some 12,334 graduates used toll-free telephone lines to complete the survey. While the published results look at all participating universities together, they also divide the schools into the three categories used in the annual university ranking – primarily undergraduate, comprehensive and medical/doctoral, which includes the U of S.

The answers U of S grads gave pushed their alma mater into the top five among medical/doctoral institutions in six areas. When asked to rate teaching and instruction, 58 per cent said “very good”. Only Western and Queen’s rated higher. The U of S finished fourth behind Western, Sherbrooke and Queen’s when another 58 per cent of its grads rated the learning environment as “very good”.

The magazine notes that universities with a full-time enrolments of 5,000 students or less did particularly well in these two categories.

A 43-per-cent “very good” rating for student services placed the U of S fourth among medical/doctoral universities, again behind Western, Queen’s and Sherbrooke. These three also beat out the U of S in an assessment of extracurricular environment. On that question, 54 per cent of U of S graduates answered “very good”.

When asked if they would recommend their alma mater to a friend or relative, 72 per cent of U of S grads said yes, a result topped by only Sherbrooke, Western, McMaster and Queen’s. Saskatchewan moved into third among medical/doctoral universities when 85 per cent said their university experience is of significant benefit today. That strong result placed the U of S seventh out of the 46 participating universities.

The only other question rated library resources and the University came out in the top half of all participants when 50 per cent answered “very good”.

Comparing its grad-survey results to those of the University of Toronto, which has commanded top spot among medical/doctoral universities in the broader Maclean’s survey since 1994, the U of S finished ahead in all but one category – library resources.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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