Until last week, Sheldon Levy had never heard of the QS World University Rankings, or the fact that Ryerson placed 701 in the report ranking the world’s top 800 universities.
But he said he’s not concerned.
“The only thing we can do is not make it a bigger deal than it is,” he said. “You just suffer when people do that type of thing and try to get on to the next thing and correct it for next time.”
This is the first time in eight years Ryerson made it into the world rankings. Overall, the university is tied dead last among Canadian schools with the University of Windsor.
Ratings are based on the schools’ academic and employer reputations, research citations, student-to-faculty ratio, and ratios of the international students and faculty.
But the data used to evaluate Ryerson was wrong, according to Levy.
“There were some huge errors, like it said we had no international faculty. We don’t know where they got that data from.”
Like the school’s president, students aren’t too put off by the report.
“The journalism department is supposed to be really good and that’s what I’m doing,” said Oskar Falkenverg, who is on exchange from Norway for eight months.
Levy cites Ryerson’s strengths in non-traditional university values, such as innovation and entrepreneurship, as part of the reason rankings don’t provide an accurate evaluation of modern education.
“Look at the categories and ask yourself if any of the categories have changed since 1920. Often, the answer is no,” said Levy.
“It takes a very retro view of universities’ value to society.”
With files from Sarah-Joyce Battersby.
This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on September 18, 2013.