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Canadian public policy and public administration programs graded on sustainability

Wednesday, July 2nd 2008 12:20:20pm

Canadian public policy and public administration programs graded on sustainability

(Toronto, Canada, July 2, 2008) Today, Corporate Knights Magazine unveils the fifth-annual Knight Schools ranking. The ranking analyzes how Canadian universities fare in integrating sustainability into the school experience.  

In reviewing public policy and public administration programs, the researchers adopted a broad definition of sustainability that encompassed environmental and social concerns. Issues of social justice, human rights, professional ethics, cultural diversity, climate change, and conservation were considered.

The survey, modelled after the US-based Beyond Grey Pinstripes Survey, scored the programs in the areas of institutional support, student initiatives, and course work.

Located in the country’s capital and the home of politicians, diplomats, and civil servants, Ottawa’s Carleton University was the clear frontrunner of all the Public Administration programs. Its total score amounted to 73.6%, while the remaining top 5 scored below 58%. Of the sixteen schools, only six (37.5%) had at least one core course entirely dedicated to sustainability.

A big part of Carleton’s high score was the impressive degree of student engagement in sustainability-focused campus groups. Students, Interested Parties, and Graduates Networking and Liaising around Sustainability (SIGNALS) were one of the best initiatives in the country. The information-sharing network invited a variety of guest speakers and organized career roundtables and has expanded to a society of over 100 members.

Students offered candid and thought-provoking opinions about the role of sustainability in their schools.

“We noticed a lot of changes in how schools are treating sustainability,” says Monika Warzecha, Chief Researcher of the Knight Schools ranking. “New programs are springing up in many different fields. Students are demanding these courses and starting their own projects outside the classroom.”

The full results and methodology of the Ranking are available at http://www.corporateknights.ca/special-reports/68-knight-school-guide.html and are summarized in the Best 50/Eduction issue (Vol. 7.1) of Corporate Knights, distributed in the Globe and Mail on June 30 in Eastern Canada and July 7 in Western Canada.

Corporate Knights received support from Industry Canada in conducting the Public Policy surveys. A full report was prepared which is available to media only by emailing info@corporateknights.ca.

Public Policy
(out of 16 schools)                              
1. Carleton University: 73.6%                                
2. Simon Fraser University: 57.6%                        
3. University of Victoria: 55.5%              
4. Queen’s University: 45.5%                
5. Université de Laval : 34.7%                    

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To schedule interviews contact:

Jonathan Laderoute, e|c|o, 416-972-7401, laderoutej(a)huffstrategy.com


Founded in 2002, Corporate Knights Inc. is an independent Canadian-based media company focused on promoting and reinforcing sustainable development in Canada.