U of L's Globe ratings improve

It's mid-term season for post-secondary students and, with the release of a national University report card from the Globe and Mail, the U of L itself is under the microscope – having been graded by its students and compared with other Universities across the country.

The results? If the institution were a student, it would be headed straight to the honour roll.

Judged to be first in research opportunities in its class, the U of L also led the standard for Recreation and Athletics and managed an A-level grade in five survey categories.

The Globe's rating measures a series of benchmarks that track student opinions on a variety of services and features at 60 universities across the country. The U of L was one of 17 institutions grouped in the "Small University" category – 4,000 to 10,000 students.

Overall, the U of L maintained or increased its grades in all categories, and did very well in a number of new or re-named categories that measured student research opportunities, professors' teaching styles and other factors.

"In this list, the categories that jump out at me are the A-level marks for the things we have always valued, such as small class sizes, our campus atmosphere, the quality of teaching and learning, student/faculty interaction, recreation and athletics programming," says U of L President Dr. Mike Mahon.

The University conducts its own student satisfaction surveys and participates in a number of national and international rating programs. Mahon says that receiving information from externally-driven polls is always helpful.

"These marks are well in line with what we already know about our students and their experiences here on campus. We value the opportunity to hear from them, and to be compared with other institutions not only in Alberta, but across the country. We are increasingly becoming a destination university for students who want something different, and these results show that our combination of size, services and location makes the U of L an attractive option for students to consider."

Mahon says the U of L community should be very proud of its placements.

"In our category, we were listed first in research opportunities. This is a key element for us to be proud of as we continue to enhance our position as a comprehensive research university. We placed in the top five for our library, overall facilities, satisfied students and reputation with employers, among other categories. As well, our students were pleased with their experiences in the city of Lethbridge, giving us a top five placement in the 'City Satisfaction' category."

Mahon adds that several teams of faculty, staff and administration are developing changes to the way the University recruits and retains students, as well as making sure the overall student experience remains positive.

"There are many projects taking place already that will only make the U of L a better place for our students, including the construction of a new 260-person residence building, courses focused on student service in our community and other innovative measures. These ratings come from our students, which is quite meaningful and speaks to the ability of our faculty and staff to engage our students."

The entire report is available on the Globe and Mail website.

University of Lethbridge individual grades and category rankings can be found below.

Overall Rating by Individual Category, SMALL University – 4,000 to 10,000 students
(17 universities total)
Research Opportunities – 1
Recreation and Athletics – 1
Buildings and Facilities – 2
Campus Atmosphere – 3
Quality of Teaching and Learning – 3
Reputation with Employers – 3
Most Satisfied Students – 4
Library – 4
City Satisfaction – 4
Student-Faculty Interaction – 5
Career Preparation – 5
Instructors' Teaching Style – 6
Class Size – 6
Work/Play Balance – 7
Academic Counselling – 8
Information Technology – 8
Student Residences – 11
Course Registration – 12
Environmental Commitment — 12

Grade rankings by Category – this year vs last year

This Year Last Year
Class size A A No change
Quality of Teaching & Learning A- New category
Student-Faculty Interaction A- A- No change
Recreation and Athletics A- A- No change
Campus Atmosphere A- B+ Up
Research Opportunities B+ New category
Reputation with Employers B+ New category
Buildings and Facilities B+ B Up
Libraries B+ B+ No change
Most Satisfied Students B+ B+ No change
Instructors' Teaching Style B+ New category
City Satisfaction B B No change
Academic Counselling B New category
Information Technology B New category
Work-Play Balance B New category
Career Preparation B B No change
Course Registration B- New category
Environmental Commitment B- B- No change
Student Residences C+ C Up