U of L moves up in Maclean's rankings

The University of Lethbridge has moved up one spot – from seventh to sixth – in the 2009 Maclean's magazine annual ranking of Canadian Universities and retained its place in the top 10 listing of 22 primarily undergraduate institutions.

As well, the U of L maintained or increased its placement in 10 different measures, among them the amount of support for student services and scholarships and the number of awards per full time faculty members, among others.

"As an annual snapshot of how we compare to other institutions across the country, Maclean's is somewhat helpful to people who are looking at post-secondary education, either for their children or for themselves. We are pleased that our numbers place us in a favourable spot on the overall rankings," says U of L President Bill Cade. "However, there is much more to who we are and what we do than these limited evaluations."

Cade points out that the rankings do not include several items that show additional investment in student resources, or the University's focus on Graduate Studies.

"We increased our student scholarships and bursaries significantly, which increased our ranking, but those figures do not include an additional $2.4 million our students receive through the Alberta scholarship program. As well, as we move forward with our strategic plan and continue to develop as a comprehensive research university, there's no accommodation for our dramatic increase in masters and doctoral candidates in our School of Graduate Studies."

A shifting economy has not slowed enrolment at the U of L, which recorded an overall 3.5 per cent increase as of September 2009 (8,243 students) and a more than 33 per cent increase in Graduate Studies candidates.

With more than 30 per cent of students coming from the Calgary area, in addition to students from Lethbridge, southern Alberta and other international locations, Cade says students are making sophisticated choices when considering a post-secondary institution.

"We know our students and their families are savvy consumers, and in our case we know they are doing their homework and choosing Lethbridge first."

Potential students have a hands-on chance to discover the U of L and meet with admissions representatives and faculty members at a day-long recruitment Open House scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7.

In addition to campus tours information sessions and a choice of sports or fine arts entertainment, potential students can enter a contest to win a $1,500 tuition credit.