Eleven of Canada's universities are refusing to participate in the Maclean's university ranking issue, saying they find the magazine's survey methodology to be “oversimplified” and “arbitrary.”Problems with quantitative methodology? Heavens! Say it isn't so! Of course quantitative methodologies are problematic, arbitrary and subjective, as is any methodology. All approaches to research - be they quantitative or qualitative - are subject to the design, standpoint, and intent of the researcher, and are therefore subjective. It's merely a matter for the reader of any research to choose (or at least be aware of) the subjectivity. Bonus points to the researcher who locates her/himself in the research and makes her/his standpoint explicit.
In a letter sent yesterday to Maclean's, the coalition said they will not provide any data to the magazine for its popular, yet controversial, annual fall survey of universities. The letter was signed by the presidents of the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto, McMaster University, the University of Ottawa, the University of Montreal and Dalhousie University.
But inquiring minds want to know: Does the boycott by the eleven schools have anything at all to do with the inconvenient truth that almost none of them (SFU was the exception), made the top ten (comprehensive) ranked schools in Canada according to Macleans over the last few years?
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