Students grade their schools - Maclean's 2008 university student issue



    Which universities get the best-and worst-reviews? In this week's issue
    of Maclean's, 87,000 undergrads have their say. Also: Why Canadians don't
    have access to lifesaving medicine, and why the Clintons shouldn't be
    President. For these and other stories visit www.macleans.ca.

    TORONTO, Feb. 7 /CNW/ - While undergraduate student satisfaction remains
relatively high at Canadian institutions, the results in this week's Maclean's
suggest a different story: satisfied or not, many Canadian university campuses
are not as engaging and may not be offering as good an educational experience
as their American peers. And the problem is particularly pronounced at
Canada's large research universities - the schools educating the overwhelming
majority of Canadian undergrads.
    Maclean's looked to two surveys, including the American-based NSSE
survey, a tool widely used by universities to analyze, benchmark and improve
their institutional performance. The NSSE asks first-year and fourth-year
undergraduates at participating schools nearly 100 questions about what they
have been doing during their university careers. These questions cover aspects
of educational practice that have been shown to promote student engagement,
which itself has been shown to promote more and better learning.
    So what do the NSSE benchmarks tell us about the undergraduate learning
experience at Canadian universities? A good number of Canadian universities -
mostly smaller, primarily undergraduate institutions, met or exceeded the 2007
NSSE 'Level of Academic Challenge' and 'Supportive Campus Environment'
benchmark averages. But on the remaining three benchmarks, 'Student-Faculty
Interaction,' 'Active and Collaborative Learning,' and 'Enriching Educational
Experience,' few Canadian universities met the American standard. While a
handful of small, primarily undergraduate schools consistently exceeded their
American peers, large, research-focused universities failed to meet the
American benchmarks.
    For more student survey results, including seven additional CUSC
questions, as well as data from past surveys, please visit Maclean's online at
www.macleans.ca/oncampus.

    Care you can't have

    A lack of geneticists means Canadians can't benefit from personalized
medical care. In this week's Maclean's, Cathy Gulli asks why breakthroughs in
genetic testing don't help actual patients.

    The first gentleman

    Combative and restless, Bill Clinton would have inordinate influence
behind the scenes - but with no accountability. While Hillary battles for the
presidency, Bill's influence as her potential "first gentleman" has critics
alarmed.

    About Maclean's:

    Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.8 million readers with strong
investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit www.macleans.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Jacqueline Segal, (416) 764-4125,
jacqueline.segal@rci.rogers.com

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