The University of the Fraser Valley has earned four-star status in a prestigious international post-secondary rating system that helps students choose the university that best fits their needs.
In the methodology used for QS Stars, universities are evaluated in dozens of indicators across at least eight categories.
After the assessment, universities are awarded with an overall star result which ranges from 0 to 5+ stars, depending on the number of points achieved through the evaluation.
While UFV earned a four-star rating, it received a perfect five stars in two key areas: teaching and employability of graduates.
“The process to obtain QS-STARS status was a lengthy one but was well worth it,” says Dave McGuire, executive director of UFV International.
“It’s particularly rewarding to have an outside organization look at our institution and highlight some of the areas where we already feel we excel.”
The QS Top Universities site (topuniversities.com) allows prospective students to take a detailed look at an institution, enabling them to identify which universities are the best in specific areas, such as programs, facilities, grad employment rates, social responsibility, and inclusiveness.
Key personnel within UFV International and Institutional Research and Planning worked hard to prepare the detailed application package.
John Potts, UFV International’s manager of partnerships and programs, says that the new designation will help in the university’s relationships with overseas partners.
“In east Asian countries and the Gulf states – both important markets for us –rankings are very important,” he said.
“When we have visitors, they ask about the Canadian education system, but we don’t have a formal ranking system within Canada.
“All the public universities in Canada are a pretty good choice, but we all have our individual strengths. QS Stars recognizes that there are a large number of universities that are not research-intensive but that offer other benefits.”
Potts adds that the QS achievement will help UFV attract better qualified international students.
It will also help the university to build partnerships with universities around the world. These partnerships allow UFV students to take advantage of Study Abroad options and facilitate visits by visiting scholars.
Potts said UFV has grown from three partnerships in 2006 to 60 today.
McGuire said the university has acquired a number of highly ranked partners, such as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
“We have gone out of our way to develop partnerships with universities that are ranked in the top 500 in the world,” he said.
“Being listed on the QS site enhances our ability to develop these key partnerships …This is one of the most important milestones we’ve achieved in terms of getting international visibility.”