Poor ranking keeps them coming

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By Natalie Alcoba

Despite another poor showing by Ryerson in Maclean’s magazine’s annual university rankings, experience shows most high school students won’t be swayed from including Rye High on their university applications.

“There are so many factors that go into choosing a university: location, size, program availability, quality of the program,” said Paul Arthurs, a guidance counsellor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School in Mississauga. “This report has little effect on how I advise my students.”

Arthurs said despite Ryerson’s repeatedly poor overall standing, he has seen increased student interest in Ryerson over the past few years.

The tenth edition of the university rankings, which surveyed thousands of guidance counsellors, university officials, chief executive officers and corporate recruiters from across the country, ranked Ryerson 19th overall out of 21 primarily undergraduate schools in Canada, down two spots from last year.

The low overall ranking is nothing new to Ryerson. Since 1995, the school has fared no better than 17th overall.

On the bright side, the university once again scored well in reputation categories. Among primarily undergraduate schools, Ryerson ranked second-best in the categories of overall reputation, most innovative and leaders of tomorrow categories.

Gordon Cressy, Ryerson’s v.p. university advancement, said he doesn’t think the rankings impact students’ ultimate decisions about which school to attend.

“I don’t think it’s as good as it was when it first came out 10 years ago,” Cressy said. “I don’t think it’s a decision-maker, but it certainly is one piece of information.”

Cressy points out that Ryerson’s overall ranking suffers because Maclean’s caters to a national population, while the majority of Ryerson’s students come from the greater Toronto area.

“If you’re looking for an out-of-town experience, you’re probably not going to come to Ryerson,” Cressy said. “But if you’re saying, ‘hey, look to your future, hey, I want a good job,’ then I say look to Ryerson. We come in strong there.”

Tatiana Chiamarelli, an OAC student at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, says she and her friends haven’t even picked up a copy of the Maclean’s rankings, which hit newsstands last week.

Chiamarelli hoped to go to Wilfrid Laurier University to study accounting and said some of her friends are considering Ryerson.

“What matters is the reputation of the university for the program you’re looking at,” she said.


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