Universities in Western Canada

Do university rankings really matter?

Graphic Ming Wong/The UbysseyIn the latest Times Higher Education (THE) university rankings, UBC fell one spot to 31st place. While a standard fanfare surrounds new ranking results, with friendly trash-talking between friends at rival universities and chats with relatives, one question should always be asked: do the world university rankings affect things like the quality of new applicants, entrance to graduate school and employment opportunities upon graduation?

A heads-up for incoming students

As an “international university, ” UBC relies heavily on both the quality and quantity of undergraduate students coming from abroad. Given that the university actively recruits in approximately 60 countries worldwide and 16 states in the United States, it cannot rely exclusively on its local reputation alone for attracting applicants.

“If students and their parents don’t know much about Canada, they’ll look at the rankings to see which Canadian universities rank, let’s say, on the top 500, ” said Karen McKellin, executive director of the International Student Initiative at UBC.

McKellin added that in addition to buttressing a school’s reputation, the rankings give prospective students a sense of their chances of getting accepted and how far their tuition dollars will go at a given school.

“It does play a role in early-on considerations of which college to attend, ” she said. “But it isn’t the reason why students decide on a particular university.”

How do they decide the ranking criteria?Ultimately, McKellin said it is about finding best fit.

The right academic program, the networking possibilities for a future career and interaction with superstar professors are all factors that McKellin said play a more significant role than the overall ranking of a university, though such elements often go hand in hand.

Milena Khalil, a first-year in UBC’s new bachelor of international economics (BIE) program, said when she was first applying to UBC, she initially examined the overall rankings. But once she was admitted to both the Sauder School of Business and the BIE program, operating as part of the Arts-based Vancouver School of Economics, she started looking at subject-specific rankings.

“I decided to enroll in the BIE program not only because it interested me more but also because the Vancouver School of Economics was better ranked [than Sauder], ” she said.

Although Khalil said rankings were not the defining factor in her program selection, she does acknowledge the weight they have on employment opportunities in the future.

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Since she is non-US, try getting her to go to

by jkgend_nli

School in Canada, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, China, India or someplace in western Europe as they have excellent schools [many BETTER than the US] and she will not have the onerous US visa problems to deal with.
Since 9/11 it has gotten to be next to impossible for non-US students to attend school in the US [which, of course makes universities every where else VERY HAPPY]. After the next attack, it will only get worse.

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