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Corporate Knights releases 2009 Knight School Survey

Wednesday, June 24th 2009 9:57:19am

Attention: News/Business/Education Reporters and Assignment Editors

Corporate Knights releases 2009 Knight School Survey

Schulich School of Business tops MBA list again

(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 MBA and undergraduate Business programs, the researchers adopted a broad definition of sustainability that encompassed environmental and social concerns. Issues of social justice, human rights, professional conduct, 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.

After evaluating 35 MBA and 47 undergraduate Business programs, one thing is clear: school scores are on the rise. This year, the average undergrad score was 37.94%, a 4.22% increase over the previous year. The jump in MBA scores is even more marked. While the MBA program average in 2008 reached 33.36%, the current average score has shot up to 40.33% in 2009.

With the overall increase in average scores, schools had to work harder to make it into the top ten. In the MBA ranking, the average score for the top 10 schools was 70.92%, up from 61.23% in 2008. Schools also had to work harder to maintain their positions in the ranking. Even an improved score did not guarantee an improved rank. For example, the University of British Columbia - Sauder School of Business MBA scored 66.8% in 2008, and earned the 3rd spot in the ranking. This year, their score rose by 7.95% but because of increased competition, they dropped to the 5th spot, despite their improvement.

More and more business schools are stepping up to meet the challenge of integrating more sustainability features into their programs. While the current economic recession has critics suggesting business schools are to blame for unscrupulous traders, managers, and CEOs, the increased focus of Canadian business schools on professional ethics, the environment, and social issues suggests these trying times may have boosted schools' focus on sustainability.

This year's results may inspire a feeling of déjà vu. York University's Schulich School of Business came in 1st place in the MBA ranking for the 6th year in a row. Despite its repeated success, the school has not rested on its laurels. In 2008, their final MBA score was 80.27%. This year, Schulich continued to explore issues of sustainability within its program, increasing its final score to 92.8%.

Also holding its position at the top is the University of Waterloo's Centre for Environment and Business undergraduate program. While Waterloo held strong, there are a number of new arrivals to the top ten. Simon Fraser University, the University of Guelph, and École des sciences de la gestion de l'Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG - UQAM) have all vaulted up the list.

"While I did notice some schools in particular were faring better than the previous year, I was surprised that overall, the scores were higher than in the 2008 ranking," says Monika Warzecha, the main researcher of the Knight Schools survey. "As anxiety over the world's current economic state grows, I thought schools would spend less time studying the environment and social issues. It's encouraging to see the current recession has not put a damper on the sustainable activities and courses."

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.

MBA

Overall Top 5 (out of 35 schools)

1. York University - Schulich School of Business: 92.8%
2. University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business: 80.85%
3. Concordia University - John Molson School of Business: 80.17%
4. University of Alberta: 76.15%
5. University of British Columbia - Sauder School of Business: 74.75%

Top mid-sized schools (12,501-27,700 students)

2. University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business: 80.85%
7. Dalhousie University: 63.15%
11. Ryerson University - Ted Rogers School of Management: 49.97%
13. Brock University: 47.12%
17. Carleton University - Sprott School of Business: 42.24%

Top small schools (12,500 students or less)

8. HEC Montréal: 62%
16. Wilfrid Laurier University: 42.32%
20. Saint Mary's University - Sobey School of Business: 39.89%
22. Royal Roads University: 33.65%

Undergraduate

Overall Top 5 (out of 47 schools)

1. University of Waterloo - Centre for Environment and Business: 74.25%
2. University of Calgary: Haskayne School of Business: 72.55%
3. University of British Columbia - Sauder School of Business: 66.95%
4. Simon Fraser University: 66.07%
5. Dalhousie University: 64.35%

Top Mid-sized Schools (12,501-27,700 students)

5. Dalhousie University: 64.35%
11. Ryerson University - Ted Rogers School of Management: 51.17%
13. Brock University: 49.67%
16. Queen's University: 49.21%
17. Carleton University - Sprott School of Business: 48.99%

Top Small Schools (12,500 students or less)

8. Trent University: 59.63%
15. University of Lethbridge: 49.54%
24. Saint Mary's University - Sobey School of Business: 39.09%
25. Royal Roads University - 36.35%

-30-

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.