Guys, I have some bad news.
If you, like me, are inordinately obsessed with the comparative value your piece of paper will have versus a piece of paper granted by another institution, then you have no doubt already been devastated to learn that UBC has fallen in the Times Higher Education rankings from 22nd to 30th place. Grim, I know. But it’s worse than that.
In all of my painstaking research into educational institutions, I somehow missed what is sure to top any chart that matters next year, if they have the slightest idea what they’re doing. I have no idea how I could have let this prestigious school slip under my radar. UBC pales in comparison by almost any metric one can imagine.
I am talking, of course, of Monsters University.
But if you too passed over MU — the institution that produced those venerable scare technicians in Monsters Inc. — in your search for the perfect post-secondary experience, then never fear — we at The Ubyssey have prepared a comprehensive categorical comparison of just how UBC compares to MU. Have we all made a huge mistake? Will four years at MU blow the UBC experience out of the water? Should we all drop out now and start filling in forms for next year’s registration? Read on and find out.
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We’re here for an education, after all, and UBC has a good reputation as a school for those of academic mind and studious spirit. We’ve got world-renowned professors, robot-powered libraries, and a tome of course listings one could be forgiven for mistaking for a phone book. (Just kidding. No one knows what a phone book looks like.)
MU, on the other hand, may have a world-class scaring school, but that’s their main problem as an institution — the School of Scaring is the entire place’s raison d’être, and other programs end up suffering for it. If the goal of a university is to provide educations that create well-rounded individuals, one can’t help but wonder if MU is truly deserving of the “university” moniker; it’s a glorified technical school. And take a look at their academic calendar. The add/drop deadline is a week before classes end? Winter break is two months? What kind of loosey-goosey operation are they running over there?
UBC prides itself on its commitment to so-called “sustainability”. It claims to be a world leader in developing new technologies for capturing renewable resources. It likes to brag about its organic farm and its bioenergy plant and its district energy system, as if these are accomplishments to be proud of. I’m sorry, but have you seen the research coming out of MU? These guys have figured out how to harness the acoustic energy of children’s screams. They’ve developed an entire economy based on screaming kids — do you know how easy it is to get kids to scream? I’m sorry, UBC, but if you really want to be a leader in sustainability research, you’ve got a long way to go before you can hope to hold a candle to MU.
UBC is so far removed from its host city as to be a completely separate political jurisdiction, and it is sometimes said that student life suffers as a result. It’s positively bustling compared to MU, however. The sheer volume of students at UBC makes it a statistical certainty that at least a handful of people on campus are interested in the same obscure activity that you are, and that sounds like the start of a successful student club to me. MU, on the other hand, makes almost no mention of any sort of student activities, societies or clubs on its campus. Student government is weak and ineffectual, apparently not even warranting its own website. The university’s administration has refused to respond to several Freedom of Information requests from The Ubyssey with regard to its opaque, poorly-defined governance structure. They don’t even seem to have a student paper. Talk all you want about the UBC Board of Governors’ dictatorial powers, but at least the other parties have advocates.
Housing / Transit
UBC is in a bit of a pickle. The Great Trek of legend may have sounded like a great idea at the time, but now we’re stuck out here on Point Grey with 50,000 students, 42,000 of which need to get here and back home again every day, and there’s no SkyTrain line coming any time soon. But get this: all first-year MU students live in on-campus housing, and almost all of them continue to live on campus for the rest of their undergraduate degree. In one move, MU has solved not only the housing problem, but the transit problem as well. Not bad.
UBC tries, it really does. But when your competition are gigantic, furry, horned monsters who regularly face opponents with names like “Fear Tech”, you have to wonder if the Thunderbirds would be able to take the heat. Billy Greene may be good, but does he have what it takes to go toe-to-toe-analogue with the likes of James P. “Sully” Sullivan? What’s more, MU fielding all of this athletic superiority with a student base not even a quarter the size of UBC’s. Pretty impressive.