Campus Digest: Western rank dips in Times results

By Communications Staff
October 11, 2012

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Another set of rankings, another disappointment for Western.

In the numbers released last week, Western was ranked No. 226-250 by the Times Higher Education magazine’s World University Rankings. That ranking was down from 2011-12, when the university found itself ranked No. 201-225. (No specific rankings are given beyond No. 200 on the list).

The California Institute of Technology took the top spot, followed by the University of Oxford, Stanford University, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Canada has three universities in the Top 50, with the University of Toronto at No. 21, University of British Columbia at No. 30 and McGill University at No. 34. University of Montreal (No. 84), McMaster University (No. 88), University of Alberta (No. 121), University of Ottawa (No. 171) and University of Victoria (196) round out Canada’s representation in the Top 200.

Breaking down its ranking, Western saw a slight uptick in most of the scores used by the Times. The university saw increases related to teaching (39.4 in 2012-13/38.8 in 2011-12), industry income (44.6/41.9), research (37.2/34.3) and citations (44.8/38.5). The only decline was in international outlook (51.3/55.7).

View the rankings at
The Times rankings are the university’s second setback in as many months. In September, Western found itself ranked No. 173 in the 2012-13 QS World University Rankings of the top 200 global university. That number is down from No. 157 in 2011-12. It was the university’s lowest ranking in five years.



  • The Western-based research of Adrian Owen, surrounding his pioneering work in cognitive neuroscience, has hit the small screen as a plot for the new Bravo series Perception. Owen has generated widespread international attention for his work that demonstrates that some patients in a vegetative state may not only have cognitive thoughts, but can also communicate. The American-based crime drama television series stars Canadian-born Eric McCormack as a neuropsychiatrist who assists the FBI on some of their most complex cases. The show used the idea of Owen’s research in one of their most recent episodes.
  • Having already competed at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games – and aiming to make podium at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil – fourth-year Western student Jacqueline Rennebohm may not accomplish this without some help. Visually impaired, Rennebohm is assisted by a guide runner in training and competition. But since her most recent guide has graduated, she has not been able to compete. The guide’s role is to orally give her directions and commands, either in a training session or race.
  • “I do not let my disability restrict me and my dreams,” Rennebohm said. “I have dreams of walking with a degree in my hand, and another to bathe the podium in red, white and gold on the world stage of sport. I won’t let what seems to be limitations stop me.”
    If you’d be interested in helping Rennebohm, you can contact her at For more details and to learn a bit about Rennebohm, go to
  • Western alumna Andrea Canning has made the leap to NBC’s Dateline as a correspondent. The Psychology graduate joins the newsmagazine’s team, and will also contribute to others areas included Today and NBC Nightly News. Canning makes the move from ABC News, where she worked for eight years as a correspondent covering the White House, Congress, Supreme Court and Iraq War.
  • Western students Marc Monachese (Microbiology & Immunology) and Jean Macklaim (Biochemistry) can now add ‘organizing an international conference’ to their resumes. As president and executive committee member, respectively, of the Students and Fellows Association (SFA) of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP), the pair organized a three-day conference in Cork, Ireland, including hotel arrangements, acquiring and distributing funding, organizing a program that included six keynote speakers, producing posters and arranging social activities. Thirty-two students from North and South America, Europe and Asia attended.
    Western’s Dr. Gregor Reid, Past President of ISAPP, established the SFA three years ago and has seen its membership rise from 12 to more than 170.
  • It was a banner weekend for the Western Mustangs women’s softball team as they captured their second straight CCSA National Championship, defeating Durham College 10-2 on Monday afternoon in Regina. “This team is comprised of a truly amazing group of young women,” said Western head coach Pete Lemon. “They are best friends, they have a great deal of fun and they can certainly play this game.”
    On their way to claiming another national championship, the Mustangs outscored opponents 213-26 this season and prior to their 4-1 loss to Durham this year, the Mustangs winning streak had stretched three seasons. Kara Stirling was named tournament MVP, going 2-0 with a 2.10 ERA, one shut out, and 17 strikeouts over 10 innings. Joining Stirling on the tournament award winners list were Tricia Mackay, Tara Cress, and Stacie Cox, all named to the tournament all-star team.
  • Psychology professor Philippe Rushton, 69, died Tuesday, Oct. 2 at LHSC Victoria Hospital Palliative Care Ward after a battle with cancer. In the late-1980s, the controversial professor sparked a heated debate over academic freedom at universities with his research into racial differences.


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