(Wolfville, N.S.) - Acadia University has maintained its reputation as one of Canada's best primarily undergraduate universities in the annual Maclean's magazine ranking of post-secondary institutions. The 2021 university rankings published in Maclean's magazine on Oct. 8, 2020, confirm the significant progress and momentum occurring at the University. Acadia moved up one position to rank third nationally and is first in Nova Scotia. In the 30 years that Maclean's has published its annual comparisons, Acadia has been consistently in the top five of its category.
"I am delighted that Acadia's tradition of excellence in providing an exceptional undergraduate education is being recognized with our very strong showing in the Maclean's rankings," said Acadia President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Peter Ricketts. "I am very proud of the work of Acadia's faculty, staff and students, particularly now as we are dealing with difficult financial conditions and the additional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Acadia's ranking in the Reputational Survey stands at the number two position among the primarily undergraduate universities in both the Best Overall and the Highest Quality categories. Furthermore, in spot 17, Acadia's biology program is ranked highest in the country's primarily undergraduate institutions. Biology also scored 15th for program reputation and 18th for research reputation in the survey's overall program rankings.
"The Maclean's ranking and survey confirm Acadia's position as one of Canada's leading universities overall," said Ricketts, "and the leading primarily undergraduate university in Nova Scotia."
Maclean's is one of many sources of information for students and their parents when considering post-secondary education. The ranking confirms that Acadia offers students a personalized experience through access to exceptional faculty, research opportunities that enrich their academic experience, and resources that help ensure their academic success. "It also acknowledges the institutional strength we have here in Atlantic Canada and the broad range of high-quality options our region presents to students," adds Ricketts, also noting the very strong showing of the four universities of the Maple League, of which Acadia is a member.
In addition to its university rankings, which are based on information available from publicly available sources such as Statistics Canada, Maclean's includes information from nationally-recognized student surveys. For example, Acadia consistently ranks above the national average for key student satisfaction elements such as instructors and staff, residence living, extracurricular activities, and experiential learning.
"The positive student response to key questions about how Acadia meets their expectations is very gratifying," says Ricketts. "When high school students want to know more about any university, they will often ask their friends for their impressions. Acadia's students and alumni speak highly of the interaction they have with faculty and the level of support they receive from the entire university community to help them meet their goals."
Acadia's consistent ranking among the top undergraduate institutions in Canada comes as no surprise to Brendan MacNeil, President of the Acadia Students' Union. "Acadia provides a rare gift to its students: a truly welcoming experience that at once pushes us beyond our comfort zone and makes us feel like we're at home," says MacNeil. "The synergy between excellence and comfort, Acadia and Wolfville, and faculty and student defines the experience students speak to in these rankings, and those things keep us all coming back. We are by no means perfect, but it is our student, University, and town leaders' collective strength and the willingness to work together that makes that hope attainable."
Ricketts added that “The pandemic experience has made us all realize how important human interaction and engagement are in our lives, and when students are choosing a university experience that integrates an enriched intellectual and social learning environment they can make no better choice than Acadia.”
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