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Maclean's;NSSE;social psychology;student engagement;student satisfaction;university choice


Kenneth Cramer



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Research suggests that higher levels of student engagement are positively correlated with higher levels of student satisfaction. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) benchmark measures have been found to be significantly correlated with institutional outcomes related to student satisfaction, such as graduation rates and retention. Although there has been an extensive amount of research conducted on ranking HEIs, student satisfaction, and student engagement, there remained a noticeable gap in the literature: the examination of the ranking of Canadian institutions’ student satisfaction, student engagement and positive student outcome variables. As such, we offer a novel study in the context of Canadian universities (N = 49) that examines Maclean’s magazine rankings of Canadian universities based on the analyses of data obtained from student satisfaction indices (as published by Maclean’s Magazine University Rankings) and NSSE (as reported by concurrently to examine (1) if NSSE engagement indicators can predict Maclean’s student satisfaction at public institutions across Canada and (2) whether there are significant differences between (a) higher versus lower ranked universities, (b) universities with good reputations versus universities with poor reputations and (c) larger enrolment versus smaller enrolment universities. Canonical correlation analyses identified significant predictors of student satisfaction, although predictors differed based on academic year (i.e., first- versus senior-year students). The significant predictors were then utilized in Mann-Whitney U Tests for comparisons between universities. Results revealed that universities based on overall rank yielded the most difference followed by the size of institution, whereas there was little difference between universities based on their reputation.