Joey Coleman: Argosy Opinion Section Debate on Maclean's Ratings, Universities and if an Undergrad Education is a Commodity

Argosy Opinion Section Debate on Maclean's Ratings, Universities and if an Undergrad Education is a Commodity

As hyped on the blog of the Argosy EiC’s blog, this week the Argosy had an article written by the Mt. Allison President and one by the Argosy EiC on the subject manner.
Regular readers of my blog know where I stand on the ratings and surveys. I am not exactly known for my articulate writing however. The EiC of the Argosy, however, can express viewpoints in writing very well.

The rankings are not perfect. No rankings are. Personally, I take issue with the student reviews of their own university. These are often touted as the reliable source for first-hand consumer information. But they are not well-informed voices. The vast majority of students attending undergraduate institutions are experiencing university for the first time. Going back to Keller’s car comparison, you would never ask a first-time driver for their opinion of a Jaguar – the answer would be irrelevant, since they would have no basis for comparison.
But this is not the issue at the heart of the debate for most universities. Rather, they claim to praise the release of the statistics, and only take issue with the final rankings. As such, they refuse to take part in the rankings at all.
For a group of academics, this seems remarkably narrow-minded.