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Quest University Canada

canadianemigrecanadianemigre Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
edited July 2013 in Canada
does anybody have any recent info on this school?

I like its program, but have heard rumours about its instability.

ANY info appreciated.
Post edited by canadianemigre on

Replies to: Quest University Canada

  • Mustafah78Mustafah78 Registered User Posts: 479 Member
    All of Canada's private universities (perhaps with the exception of Trinity Western University) are trash -- pitifully under-resourced and staffed with bottom-of-the-barrel professors. You'd be better off going to one of Ontario's Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology and then transferring into a respectable university whose financial future is certain.
  • canadianemigrecanadianemigre Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    you obviously know very little about Quest then....I think there are concerns regarding its financial future and stability, but quality of its curriculum and faculty is certainly no concern of mine

    it was founded by the former president of UBC, and its current acting president is a top professor from Columbia and its main academic connection is Colorado College


    and I was already at a top Canadian university thanks, I left because it wasn't for me....the elite Canadian institutions may be elite in terms of world cutting research, but are not my idea of an effective undergraduate education....

    please only comments from people who actually know something about the topic
  • Mustafah78Mustafah78 Registered User Posts: 479 Member
    it was founded by the former president of UBC, and its current acting president is a top professor from Columbia

    In that case, I retract everything I said. It must be good... potential insolvency not withstanding.
    and its main academic connection is Colorado College

  • Mustafah78Mustafah78 Registered User Posts: 479 Member
    In all seriousness, though, I would not recommend going to a university that might go bust in the near future. My friend's private college shut down in the middle of his degree; now he's screwed.

    Also, the big faceless unis will get you more employment or grad school opportunities. Short-term pain (in your case) for long-term gain.
  • canadianemigrecanadianemigre Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    thanks for your reply

    however it is naive to discount colorado college, it is a very rigorous LAC....in my opinion, the best schools in the States are not the big brand names, but the elite LACs that no one has ever heard of...which are also what Quest is modeling itself after

    and there is no need to trade off quality academics for future opportunities, in fact I would say that there are BETTER resources at small schools - more personalized advising, stronger alumni connections, extremely good reps within grad school committees....not to mention the fact that your talents and academic potential is much more thoroughly developed

    now that won't all be true yet at Quest, because it is so new, which is why I want more info....seriously, no current students out there with an idea of the long term plan for the school??
  • Karen CollegesKaren Colleges Registered User Posts: 1,752 Senior Member
    Sorry, no info yet. A friend's son just started there last week, so hope to have more information as time goes on. By the way, the parent (an experienced teacher) was extremely impressed with the new student orientation and the college itself. She thinks it's what college SHOULD be, so I'm very interested in finding out more about it.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    In this neck of the woods- close to Quest- it's not even on the radar screen. I believe most assume it's just another private school geared to off-shore parents from Asia who want to get their kid to get a foothold in North American education. Who else would pay that kind of tuition in Canada?

    I like that their faculty have the right credentials, and seem young and energized. And I LOVE the idea of a small, private LAC in Canada. But its worrisome that most of the faculty got their degrees from within one of the neighboring colleges -- not a good sign. I mean if you are a wold class institution, using private tuition to attract the best of the best professors, you'd be attracting the best faculty from around the world, no?

    In the academic world, having an 'association' or 'exchange' with another school is just marketing. So the Colorado College connection doesn't seem useful at all. Have a look at who Penn, Harvard, Stanford have associations with...

    It had to be approved by the provincial government to run, but what about academic accreditation? I can't find any yet. I'd absolutely wait for that (along with seeing if it can survive financially). Imagine spending $30k and taking a set of courses...the school folds...and you can't transfer your credits anywhere...

    And being new, the long term relationships with business, the alumni network, the reputation and so on is missing. And those things do count when it comes to getting a job.

    I'm a huge fan of lesser known but great schools. However, as someone in academia, who actually lives in the same region as Quest, and who is looking at colleges for the future for her HS child, let me tell you the name never ever comes to mind with anyone I know.

    I wish it the best of luck, and sure hope it succeeds! But I don't see anything substantive yet and I wouldn't take a risk on a new school. I'd love to learn more than proves me wrong.
  • KorgKorg Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    The fact that it is literally brand new scares me. I'd just go to UBC if I was looking at schools in the area.
  • WealthOfInformationWealthOfInformation Registered User Posts: 2,022 Senior Member
    You can get a better education from almost any university in Canada for 1/3 the price. And if you wanted to pay that price, no problem - go to a US college with a great reputation and alumni network.

    It looks like a poor investment.
  • canadianemigrecanadianemigre Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    thanks everyone for their responses, even if it's kind of irrelevant now....at this point, I seem to know more about the school than most people on here...since my initial posting, I've had much more contact with the school and have been extremely impressed...I'm visiting in November so will have more to say then

    just FYI for other people interested in the school, some things to keep in mind
    -the school has a huge scholarship/bursary program....so if I went there (very poor here!), I'd pay about the same as for other Canadian schools....

    -starbright, thanks for your thoughts but I disagree with you on the faculty quality, I think the tutors have incredibly impressive resumes with a huge amount of international experience

    -the school is accredited and I don't feel there would be any trouble transferring credits or applying for grad school - it has a great reputation among the right people (see the links I posted up above), especially in the States where this style of school is much more common

    quite honestly, I've tried the large Canadian university thing and hated it, I didn't feel I was getting a quality education at all, I need the small LAC classroom style to feel challenged, but going to the States hasn't panned out because there is no money for intls right now....

    at this point it isn't a "is it worth the risk?" thing, it's a "this is the only satisfactory option for me at this point in time" .....so far I'm very impressed, I feel worse case scenario it would still be an interesting experience....however, I think it seems very stable, in spite of the difficult time it has had in selling itself to suspicious/status-quo loving Canadians

    will post more about my visit experience in the future
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    Let me guess: you ended up at Quest after applying to schools last year, and now feel compelled to market for them?

    Here is the article I sent you about Quest which you seem to have ignored. I guess you had already made your decision but others should read it who might be going down your path:

    Noble Quest : Macleans OnCampus

    You have bought the "advertising" but your analysis is light on details. Some questions to ask (of you, or others who need to find their own answers):

    1. By whom are they accredited? I could not find this information.

    2. Why was Sprott-Shaw college (a chain of vocationally focused community college schools, where you learn things like bookkeeping) brought in as a partner with Quest and actually run as its interim president!??

    3. Why did Strangway (the former UBC President to which you refer) promptly resign and distance himself from 'his baby'?

    4. As for faculty credentials: relative to WHICH faculty? I'm sure to a highschool student every faculty everywhere looks impressive. Among faculty, a different story. Most were trained locally. As for international...well that is true for everyone who lives in the region and has nothing to do with where they got their PHD (and its WHERE they graduated from that matters).

    5. Among WHO does it have a great reputation exactly? Certainly not among academics...so good luck getting into grad school. And certainly not in even the local business community when no one has heard of it.

    6. There are plenty of small Canadian schools from which to choose: Bishops, Mt. Allison and so on and so on, all of which offer substantial bursaries and financial aid and are small and initimate. Every school promotes bursaries so looking at the differential sticker price is what matters. And given that Quest is hanging by a thread financially I would not count on financial aid for all four years (even if they survive). The bottom line is why would someone risk paying $24,000 a year to attend this school when they can attend one for $5,000 that has been around 100 years with a great alumni base, accredited, well known?

    7. The news articles I've read like the one above and others scare me. They haven't been able to attract enough students even! Talk about zero selectivity. Look at the interviews with students: do you want to go to school with classmates who have never heard of the word "whereas"?

    I know you are anti-public Canadian schools but I think, given your other posts, you've been terribly misled. It is not the case that classes are necessarily large or overcrowded at all. Most faculty do know their students. It is not only possible but strongly encouraged that one take courses outside their major. Sure there can be some large intro sections, but for the most part, classes are typically very nicely sized in the majors once you get to that level. Thus for example, I and my colleagues know every single student personally in our large major: they stop by to chat, I answer emails, I write letters of reference, they can do research with me (next week we are having a party that the students hosted). This isn't at all unusual and I'm not unusual. This term I'm teaching an undergraduate class of 5 students, and one of 35 students. I could go on and on and on with counter examples so I find it frustrating when these global generalizations are made (by people who have never been on a campus before) and it misleads everyone else.

    But sadly when college decisions are made based on message boards and reading aggregate statistics and looking at brochures its easy to get fooled. Privates spend HUGE amounts on their advertising when publics don't have to at all; that advertising includes press releases to news outlets (most news is now coming from press releases), tapping into one's networks, glossy brochures, and even shills on message boards. Just like any other product, the adverts can be terribly biased and misleading because there is profit at stake. Those with money (e.g. private colleges) have the ability vis a vis massive advertising and "PR" budgets to convince you that their competition isn't that good. No different than any other product for sale.
  • canadianemigrecanadianemigre Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    um, as a matter of fact no, I haven't even applied yet....I honestly thought some people might be interested in what I know about the school now so was trying to be helpful.......and I didn't ignore the article, I simply read it last year when it came out in Macleans in November 2008

    1. Accreditation: the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, American Academy of Liberal Education....as to the latter, schools not well known in the public, but with extremely good reputation among American grad schools....some of the top producers of graduate degrees in the States

    2/3. I don't know enough about this, but it obviously was not what the admin/students at the school wanted in the end. They quickly distanced themselves and it seems to be a non-issue now.

    4. I am not a high school student thank you very much. I graduated in 2004 and have been in the full time workforce for two years. I worked in research labs from before I entered university and have co-authored published research so am very familiar with academics and their credentials. I feel like we aren't even looking at the same faculty - I would say about half got their degrees locally (I'm guessing you mean from UBC/UVic?) and others got their degrees from fantastic schools in the US/internationally. Many are coming from teaching careers at small LACs of fantastic quality even if they aren't well known in the public vocabulary. I suppose you're saying the school should be attracting faculty with top-notch research CVs? well that is not the point of the school, you only go there if you want to TEACH, there won't be research facilities

    5. This sounds like a good reputation unless you are alleging that these recommendations were forged or something.

    6. I am looking at Bishops, but most of the small schools out east do not give the same flexibility. You are still stuck pretty tight into a discipline or two (ie. I don't want to take a class outside my interest area, I want to take a true liberal arts curriculum) and most do not have the same guarantee of such small class sizes. Plus I'm not thrilled at going to the Maritimes. And Quest is still turning down half of the students that apply, it has more admission requirements than any other school in Canada - you have to write essays and send in original creative work, have references, submit the SATs etc. I would say the reason they have less students at the moment is because they are MORE selective. I'm not a grammar expert, but I want to become a better writer which is exactly why I want to go to a small school where I will be challenged to be better. I went to a top Canadian university and all I can say is that I don't see how the students could be any worse regarding grammar or general knowledge than my former peers.

    If you had read my post at all, you would see that I HAVE been on a campus before - I had a TERRIBLE experience with public universities. I am not "anti-public" school, I am "anti-public school for ME". I didn't feel challenged at all academically or fulfilled socially. I was an undergraduate research assistant for 2 years and loved it....but didn't feel I ever learned anything in the classroom. My professors did not care and my peers cared even less. If you have had a different experience, then fantastic!! Surely you can see that if I myself had a bad experience, it's not crazy to go looking for a different style of education. When I expressed doubts as to whether I was at the right place, my research supervisor encouraged me to look elsewhere to complete my degree because he thinks there are lots of problems with the current Canadian system. As do many professors right now. Heard of Ivory Tower Blues or anything like that?

    I'm not some stupid kid. I haven't set foot on a campus for over two years (except to visit various schools) and have done loads of research into schools in both Canada and the US to make sure I make the right choice when returning to school. Quest hasn't sent me any pretty brochures, in fact all they sent me was a very long detailed letter from the president (a top astrophysicist from Columbia) explaining why their school was different and a page of quick facts on the school. That's it - 2 pages in a small little envelope. I've emailed back and forth with an admissions counselor and found them very helpful and informative, but not the least bit pushy or flashy. And Quest is a non-profit organization, so no they don't have profits at stake. The public health care system does just fine with the Red Cross to fill in the gaps.

    I was honestly trying to help by filling people in with my knowledge of the school. If my frustration at the cluelessness of the posters on this thread came through in my last message, then I apologize, I was not trying to be snarky. But I certainly don't think I deserved a rant like that. I don't know why the heck you are so defensive about this. I think I made it clear in my last message that I felt this was a good option FOR ME. Next time get your facts straight.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    Sorry I sound frustrated by you write like a shill. I'm sorry you had one bad experience, but that doesn't make you knowledgeable about more than one public school in Canada. Lots of schools yet you keep a broad curriculum..have a look at Francis Xavier for example.

    Accreditation. The first is required for any community college locally. The second is an obscure accreditation...who belongs to it are a few unknown (mostly religious) colleges. We aren't talking Williams here, but Holy Spirit College. And Quest is only an affiliate member.

    Reputation? Those are friends and professional connections! Elementary school and highschool principle, people strangway worked with many years before leaving UBC, and so on. It's identical to how book cover quotes work (you call your friends, they offer to say something nice, and its a favor paid back or will be paid forward). This isn't reputation in the way you as a student need it. No one outside of 100 miles has heard of Quest, and even locally its only known if someone read about it in the paper.

    Faculty. I count 3/4 from local schools (UBC, UVic, SFU). A handful from other Canadian schools. And 3-4 from well recognized schools (Helfand being one which is why he's in every publication). I am not talking research cvs, I'm talking about last place of employment and PhD source. Though do note the well regarded LACs have faculty that do research, with students, which is why so many go on to do PhDs (even if the faculty are not known for their research per se). I would be worried about faculty so out of touch with the base from which they teach (how do they stay up to date?), which is not true for most LACs. I'm very PRO LAC, just not pro Quest.

    The main thing is what about the quality of students? What about no one having heard of your school when you look for a job or go onto grad school? What about it becoming financially insolvent?
  • canadianemigrecanadianemigre Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    lol ......whatever, I know I'm not a shill, I have nothing to prove....I'm sorry for you that you are so cynical....I'm apparently not adding anything useful to the discussion here for anyone, so I will not waste more of my time

    I think bottom line is that we disagree with (a) what counts as a broad curriculum (b) what counts as "obscure" or "unknown" ie some of the schools on that list of AALE are anything but if you are truly familiar with grad school admissions in the States (c) the characteristics that count for "quality" ie. I'm not obsessed with public reputation....

    almost everything I have said has had to do with what I think is right for ME and the only reason I posted at all was because I know some people are in the same boat and I was trying to be helpful....just because someone has come to a different conclusion from you doesn't necessarily mean they are ignorant, it might just mean that they aren't the same person and therefore have different tastes and priorities....I still don't see why you feel so angry about this......rather than just laying out the concerns you have about the school (some of which are worth talking about), you keep putting words in my mouth about having some sort of anti-public school crusade which I certainly don't care about, I'm just trying to find the best path for myself.....but I will say that if you really are a professor, you certainly haven't done anything to improve my opinion of the teaching of critical thinking or honest discussion in Canada right now
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    I've seen your posts elsewhere on here. Often you don't offer anything about YOU, but instead make global generalizations about education options based on extremely limited personal experience (a sample size of one).

    I've honestly never seen a school that is as questionable as the one we are talking about. Seriously. I find it almost scary which is what makes me so passionate about it. I think that explains my strong reaction (which is not anger but apologize if it sounds that way in writing).

    I feel this compulsion right now to 'rescue' you (or others) from a bad and costly decision. This is not a known school, even in the remotest sense. None of the schools that its associated with in terms of accreditation are recognized players in the graduate world. Its very expensive (exactly how you know the busaries available to you would be useful for others). And there is no way of knowing if it will even exist two years from now.

    I couldn't care less what you think about me. I don't remotely represent anything, nor try to represent something. But I will provide facts as I see it on this particular school, which is meant to be useful to someone. From my vantage point, which is 20 years in academia at a host of different institutions, both public, private, US and Canada, and serving on many many academic boards. I see almost no pluses to this choice you are making, and just a huge amount of downsides.

    This school might become something, one day (and frankly, I was a very early fan). But I see nothing worth risky right now if I were a student. Apparently Strangway does not either.

    You can take that as a personal slam and throw back an insult my way, or see it as useful information that might save you a lot of pain going forward. Whatever you want.
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