Campus Digest: QS ranking success continues to be elusive

While the university remains strong in other ranking systems, success in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University rankings continues to be elusive for Western.

In the standings released Tuesday, Western found itself ranked No. 199 in the 2013-14 rankings of the Top 200 universities in the world. That number was down from No. 173 in 2012-13 and No. 157 in 2011-12. This year, Western was tied with National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan and tucked between the Tel Aviv University in Israel (No. 196) and the University of Calgary (No. 201).

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) topped the rankings, just ahead of Harvard University. The University of Cambridge, University College of London (UCL) and Imperial College London rounded out the Top 5.

U.S. and U.K. universities continued to dominate the top tier of the rankings, occupying 17 of the Top 20 places. Canada had one university in the Top 20, down from two last year; the University of Toronto climbed to No. 17, four places above McGill at No. 21.

Rounding out Canada’s rankings in the Top 200 were the University of British Columbia (No. 49), University of Montreal (No. 92), University of Alberta (No. 96), McMaster University (No. 140), University of Waterloo (No. 180), Queen’s University (No. 189) and Western.

In February, Western was awarded Five Stars by the QS Stars audit, authored by QS, publishers of the QS World University Rankings. Only three Canadian universities – Western, University of Montreal (Five Star Plus) and University of Calgary (Five Stars) – received those ratings.

Visit the QS website, topuniversities.com/university-rankings, for the full rankings.

NEWS AND NOTES

‘Charged up’ over campus police work

Western’s Campus Community Police Service has an electric feel these days as they test out the new Zero Police DS electric motorcycle. The low-maintenance, zero direct emissions bike has a range of 220 kms per charge with a top speed of 150 kph.  Sgt. Ryan Austin, BA’94 (Geography), a 20-year police veteran, joined campus police a month ago and, as a certified police motorcycle instructor, could provide training should the university purchase the vehicles.

Western’s Campus Community Police Service has an electric feel these days as they test out the new Zero Police DS electric motorcycle. The low-maintenance, zero direct emissions bike has a range of 220 kms per charge with a top speed of 150 kph. Sgt. Ryan Austin, BA’94 (Geography), a 20-year police veteran, joined campus police a month ago and, as a certified police motorcycle instructor, could provide training should the university purchase the vehicles.

  • Victoria Chok, a second-year Biomedical Sciences student, was named one of 12 North America students, and one of two Canadians, selected to the Pearson Student Advisory Board. She attended a summer Student Leadership Summit in Boston, Mass., in July, and worked with other youth to develop programs, which would benefit students and provide input on learning materials.
    “We were there to offer a fresh perspective. The industry is trying to tap into online resources – and there are lots of trends in e-learning systems, collaborative classrooms, there are no constrictions to learning with MOOCs (massive open online courses). The education system is shifting and there’s a tipping point. We can jump on the tide and go for the ride or fall flat on our faces,” she said.
  • Western French Studies professor Alain Goldschläger has been awarded the title of Officer de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques for his work with the International Task Force for Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.
  • A project spearheaded by Western researchers Adrian Owen and Melvyn Goodale has been named among seven shortlisted teams to proceed to Stage 2 of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Global Call for Ideas. Of 280 letters of interest submitted from researchers from eight countries on five continents, seven finalists were selected.
    Goodale, director of Western’s Brain and Mind Institute (BMI), and Owen, a BMI principal investigator, pitched a project titled, Brain, Mind and Consciousness, a network composed of neuroscientists, philosophers, ethicists and clinicians that will focus on creating a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of human consciousness.
    Full program proposals will be submitted to CIFAR by the end of February 2014.
  • Western Law professor Stephen Pitel has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). Pitel will receive a 2012-2013 OCUFA Teaching Award at Sept. 28 ceremony in Toronto.
  • The American Institute of Chemical Engineers has named Franco Berruti the recipient of 2013 Lectureship in Fluidization Award, under the Particle Technology Forum. This award, sponsored by Particulate Solid Research, Inc., recognizes an individual’s outstanding scientific/technical research contributions with impact in the field of fluidization and fluid-particle flow systems.