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Corporate Knights releases list of leading sustainable policy schools

Wednesday, June 24th 2009 10:03:26am

Attention: News/Business/Education Reporters and Assignment Editors

Corporate Knights releases 2009 Knight School Survey

Carleton University leads policy schools

(Toronto, Canada, June 24, 2009) Today, Corporate Knights Magazine unveils the sixth-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, modeled after the US-based Beyond Grey Pinstripes Survey, scored the programs in the areas of institutional support, student initiatives, and course work.

Adherence to sustainability-based initiatives is less evident this year than in 2008. Overall scores have fallen by 3.57%. However, some schools are bucking the trend. There are a number of newcomers to the top 5, with the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto moving up in both rank and score. Ottawa has moved from 8th place in the 2008 report to 3rd this year, increasing their score from 24% last year to 31.73% in this report. Similarly, Toronto has shown significant improvement, climbing up from the 6th spot in 2008 to number 4 this year, with a 3.75% increase in score.

While the 16 schools studied largely demonstrate a commitment to sustainability-based research and a wide variety of electives focusing on environmental and social issues, there is certainly room for improvement. The core courses all MPA and MPP are required to take, as well as the school's financial support - in the form of scholarships, awards, and bursaries - available to students interested in sustainability should be stepped up. The public's continued interest in environmental and social issues means tomorrow's decision-makers will need to be well-versed in the world of sustainability.

"Policy programs are training future leaders - the people who will be making the policies that shape our everyday lives," says Monika Warzecha, the main researcher for the Knight Schools survey. "It is vital that students in policy programs are being encouraged to learn about environmental and social issues."

The full results and methodology of the Ranking are available at www.corporateknights.ca/knightschools and are summarized in the Best 50/Eduction issue (Vol. 8.1) of Corporate Knights, distributed in the Globe and Mail yesterday.

Public Policy (out of 16 schools)
                              
1. Carleton University: 63.35%
2. Queen's University: 40.5%
3. University of Ottawa: 31.73%
4. University of Toronto: 31.45%
5. Simon Fraser University: 29.46%

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To schedule interviews with Melissa Shin, the Managing Editor of Corporate Knights, or Monika Warzecha, Editorial Assistant, contact:

Don Huff, 416-972-7404, huffd@ecostrategy.ca

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