Commerce rankings lack purpose

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If you’re going to rank students, at least have it serve a purpose. 

Currently, all 1,400 or so Commerce students are ranked based only off their average grades.    

But why they’re ranked isn’t entirely clear.

Every Queen’s student, Commerce or not, is already ranked. The only difference between Commerce and other programs is knowing where you fall. 

So, telling students where they stand in comparison to their classmates seems more like an attempt to elicit competition than anything else, which isn’t necessarily a bad idea in a program preparing students to enter highly competitive careers. 

But, considering Commerce students are already competing in projects, awards, committees and international exchange programs, ranking them based off their average grade seems like a narrow way to gauge their abilities.

If the purpose of a ranking is to help employers weed out the talent, then a ranking doesn’t do the job, because it fails to take many things into consideration. 

Nor does the ranking play an especially large part in deciding international exchange placements, as most of the evaluation process is based off an interview and the student’s grades. 

In the end, the ranking probably doesn’t even matter to anyone except for those who are among  the top and can boast of their ranking to employers. 

So, if the rankings aren’t making the program more competitive — at least not in a healthy way — and they aren’t playing a large part in a competitive job market, then it isn’t clear about what they’re supposed to be doing.

The Commerce program needs to be clear what role the ranking system plays in the academic environment they’re trying to create.

The ranking system’s current outcome is accomplished by the existing Dean’s Honour List, where only the top-ranked students are made aware of their standing. 

This system encourages all students to do well, because it provides something meaningful to aspire to, rather than a good or bad ranking. 

Regardless, the purpose of rankings must be clarified, along with how it affects students and their ability to succeed. 

— Journal Editorial Board

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