How Universities Describe Themselves in SMA2

Did the roadmap for differentiation was first proposed in the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario’s (HEQCO’s) 2010 report The Benefits of Greater Differentiation of Ontario’s University Sector (Weingarten & Deller) and the subsequent framework created by MTCU in 2013 yield differentiated SMAs for SMA2?

I used a corpus-based critical discourse analysis to interpret the data in six key sections of each university’s SMA2 in relation to the corpus itself.

Corpus Linguistics word-lists and concordance links were used to computationally quantify and qualitatively analyze six specific sections of SMAs.  Word-lists provide insight into the frequency of the use of terms, where concordance allows for analysis of words in context, because unlike word-lists, the linkages are depicted to allow for words (or groups of words) to be studied in their more or less immediate environment.  Voyant-Tools’ Terms table and Links graph were used to determine selected content words’ collocations and meaning signified by the words’ semantic lexical relationships.

I started with the ranked word-lists for each section, the analysis then identified where specific SMA2s were differentiated from the corpus for that section.

More on the basics of the SMA2 document structure can be found in this post Ontario SMA2’s Basic Document Structure.

Vision, Mission and Mandate

1 university, 2 research, 3 education, 4 students, 5 learning, 6 aspirations, 7 students, 8 community, 9 development, 10 programs, 11 postsecondary, 12 new, 13 innovation, 14 ontario, 15 sma
Vision, Mission and Mandate Ranked Word-List and Collocation Links

Most SMA2s had similar themes to the corpus itself, though the word length or proportion of the SMA2 for this section varied from Wilfrid Laurier University’s 4%, the most common 6% (McMaster University, Queen’s University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor, and York University) to OCADu which had the longest section at 1441 words. It was also proportionally the longest, representing 18% of their SMA2.

Universities were differentiated from corpus through a number of themes.  Foci on teaching themes over research were reflected in three SMAs: Algoma University’s did not mention research, Trent University and the University de Hearst had teaching and pedagogical themes that were more prevalent than the corpus.  The student experience or perspective was greater in York University’s as “student” was the second most prevalent word.  The pronoun “we” was the most used word and started many of York University’s statements, describing the university’s attributes as being of the people associated with the university.  Western University proclaimed the best student experience for a several areas, including discovery, research and other areas.

Other SMAs were differentiated by the prominence of a single topic: Brock University and community, Carleton University and regional items, Nipissing University and indigenous, OCADu and design, Queen’s University and exceptional or excellence, the University of Guelph and science, the University of Ottawa and French, the University of Ottawa and experience, the University of Toronto and global rankings, and the University of Windsor and their commitments to a number of topics and stakeholders.  Notable by the lack of prominence was the theme of research in Algoma University’s and Lakehead University’s SMA2s’.

Student Experience

1 student, 2 students, 3 learning, 4 university, 5 experience, 6 year, 7 services, 8 program, 9 academic, 10 support, 11 programs, 12 campus, 13 graduate, 14 career, 15 retention
Student Experience Ranked Word-List and Collocation Links

Thematically, all SMA2s were similar in this section.  None were differentiated by omission and there were only a few instances of extra prominence.  Career themes were more prominent for Brock University and Wilfrid Laurier University.  International students were prominent within Trent University’s section.  The University of Toronto’s section focused on sexual violence or harassment and international students.  It was also the second shortest section by word count and proportion.

Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence

1 learning, 2 students, 3 student, 4 programs, 5 teaching, 6 research, 7 programs, 8 university, 9 experiential, 10 opportunities, 11 faculty, 12 education, 13 community, 14 undergraduate, 15 work
Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence Ranked Word-List and Collocation Links

This section made up the smallest proportion of Brock University’s SMA at 9%, 800 words, and the most of Lakehead University’s at 21%, 3,396 words.  Brock University, McMaster University, and York University had a stronger focus on experience than the rest of the section corpus.  Queen’s University focused on the spirit of inquiry.  The University of Waterloo focused on co-op.  UOIT/OUT focused on online courses and online resources.  There was no differentiation in the form of themes that one SMA2 omitted.

Access and Equity

Access and Equity Ranked Word-List and Collocation Links

Brock University again had the shortest section at 6%, 545 words, and Nipissing University had the longest proportionally at 19%, 1,559 words, less than York University’s 1,651 words and Lakehead University’s 2,368 words.  The third most referenced word across the corpus was indigenous.  All SMAs included this theme, most with high prominence with Algoma University specifically referring to the Anishinaabe and Brock University having indigenous as a primary theme in a short section.  Université de Hearst and the University of Ottawa had a greater discussion of access for French speakers.

Research Excellence and Impact

1 research, 2 university, 3 faculty, 4 students, 5 health, 6 canada, 7 number, 8 ontario, 9 total, 10 community, 11 funding, 12 innovation, 13 centre, 14 new, 15 researchers
Research Excellence and Impact Ranked Word-List and Collocation Links

The Université de Hearst had the shortest section, 6% and 516 words, and the University of Windsor had the longest at 21%, 3,497 words.  Most SMA2s were similar to the corpus.  Extra significance was placed on community or region by Brock University, Lakehead University, Université de Hearst, and Wilfrid Laurier University.  Industry was more prominent with Ryerson University, but partnerships were also significant for the University of Guelph, Carleton University and OCADu.  McMaster focused on rankings, and health as a topic.  OCADu had a greater focus on art and design.  The University of Guelph focused on health and food.  The University of Windsor focused on the international border and the Great Lakes.  Western University had interdisciplinary as the second most frequent word.  It was notable that the corpus had students as the fourth most frequent word, but it was very infrequently used by Western University and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement

1 community, 2 innovation, 3 research, 4 university, 5 students, 6 economic, 7 development, 8 centre, 9 new, 10 social, 11 industry, 12 entrepreneurship, 13 programs, 14 ontario, 15 program
Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement Ranked Word-List and Collocation Links

Nipissing University had the shortest section at 6% of total, 484 words, the shortest section of Nipissing SMA2 by half.  York University had the longest at 19% of the total, 2,460 words and the University of Toronto had the second most at 18%, 1,302 words, in the shortest SMAs of all.  There were no notable omissions, but universities were differentiated by their foci.  Brock University focused more on its region than others, as did Nipissing University and Queen’s University.  Lakehead University, Laurentian University and the Université de Hearst focused on development.  McMaster focused on health, but did not mention the fifth most frequently used word in the corpus “students”.  Ryerson University described their “zones” in one of the longer sections.  The University of Guelph focused on food.  The University of Ottawa, the University of Waterloo and York University had a greater focus on entrepreneurship.

Differentiation?

There is evidence of some differentiation, and most of us would be able to blindly identify the institution described in a random section. But the themes discussed are mostly the same, and differences were limited.

Check the Reports Yourself

UniversitySectionLink to Voyant Tools Report
Algoma UniversityVision, Mission and MandateAlgoma University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Algoma UniversityStudent ExperienceAlgoma University: Student Experience
Algoma UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceAlgoma University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Algoma UniversityAccess and EquityAlgoma University: Access and Equity
Algoma UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactAlgoma University: Research Excellence and Impact
Algoma UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementAlgoma University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Brock UniversityVision, Mission and MandateBrock University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Brock UniversityStudent ExperienceBrock University: Student Experience
Brock UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceBrock University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Brock UniversityAccess and EquityBrock University: Access and Equity
Brock UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactBrock University: Research Excellence and Impact
Brock UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementBrock University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Carleton UniversityVision, Mission and MandateCarleton University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Carleton UniversityStudent ExperienceCarleton University: Student Experience
Carleton UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceCarleton University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Carleton UniversityAccess and EquityCarleton University: Access and Equity
Carleton UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactCarleton University: Research Excellence and Impact
Carleton UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementCarleton University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Lakehead UniversityVision, Mission and MandateLakehead University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Lakehead UniversityStudent ExperienceLakehead University: Student Experience
Lakehead UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceLakehead University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Lakehead UniversityAccess and EquityLakehead University: Access and Equity
Lakehead UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactLakehead University: Research Excellence and Impact
Lakehead UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementLakehead University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Laurentian UniversityVision, Mission and MandateLaurentian University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Laurentian UniversityStudent ExperienceLaurentian University: Student Experience
Laurentian UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceLaurentian University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Laurentian UniversityAccess and EquityLaurentian University: Access and Equity
Laurentian UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactLaurentian University: Research Excellence and Impact
Laurentian UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementLaurentian University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
McMaster UniversityVision, Mission and MandateMcMaster University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
McMaster UniversityStudent ExperienceMcMaster University: Student Experience
McMaster UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceMcMaster University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
McMaster UniversityAccess and EquityMcMaster University: Access and Equity
McMaster UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactMcMaster University: Research Excellence and Impact
McMaster UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementMcMaster University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Nipissing UniversityVision, Mission and MandateNipissing University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Nipissing UniversityStudent ExperienceNipissing University: Student Experience
Nipissing UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceNipissing University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Nipissing UniversityAccess and EquityNipissing University: Access and Equity
Nipissing UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactNipissing University: Research Excellence and Impact
Nipissing UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementNipissing University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
OCADuVision, Mission and MandateOCADu: Vision, Mission and Mandate
OCADuStudent ExperienceOCADu: Student Experience
OCADuInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceOCADu: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
OCADuAccess and EquityOCADu: Access and Equity
OCADuResearch Excellence and ImpactOCADu: Research Excellence and Impact
OCADuInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementOCADu: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Queen's UniversityVision, Mission and MandateQueen's University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Queen's UniversityStudent ExperienceQueen's University: Student Experience
Queen's UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceQueen's University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Queen's UniversityAccess and EquityQueen's University: Access and Equity
Queen's UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactQueen's University: Research Excellence and Impact
Queen's UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementQueen's University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Ryerson UniversityVision, Mission and MandateRyerson University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Ryerson UniversityStudent ExperienceRyerson University: Student Experience
Ryerson UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceRyerson University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Ryerson UniversityAccess and EquityRyerson University: Access and Equity
Ryerson UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactRyerson University: Research Excellence and Impact
Ryerson UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementRyerson University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Trent UniversityVision, Mission and MandateTrent University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Trent UniversityStudent ExperienceTrent University: Student Experience
Trent UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceTrent University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Trent UniversityAccess and EquityTrent University: Access and Equity
Trent UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactTrent University: Research Excellence and Impact
Trent UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementTrent University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
University de HearstVision, Mission and MandateUniversity de Hearst: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Université de HearstStudent ExperienceUniversité de Hearst: Student Experience
Université de HearstInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceUniversité de Hearst: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Université de HearstAccess and EquityUniversité de Hearst: Access and Equity
Université de HearstResearch Excellence and ImpactUniversité de Hearst: Research Excellence and Impact
Université de HearstInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementUniversité de Hearst: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
University of GuelphVision, Mission and MandateUniversity of Guelph: Vision, Mission and Mandate
University of GuelphStudent ExperienceUniversity of Guelph: Student Experience
University of GuelphInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceUniversity of Guelph: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
University of GuelphAccess and EquityUniversity of Guelph: Access and Equity
University of GuelphResearch Excellence and ImpactUniversity of Guelph: Research Excellence and Impact
University of GuelphInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementUniversity of Guelph: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
University of OttawaVision, Mission and MandateUniversity of Ottawa: Vision, Mission and Mandate
University of OttawaStudent ExperienceUniversity of Ottawa: Student Experience
University of OttawaInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceUniversity of Ottawa: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
University of OttawaAccess and EquityUniversity of Ottawa: Access and Equity
University of OttawaResearch Excellence and ImpactUniversity of Ottawa: Research Excellence and Impact
University of OttawaInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementUniversity of Ottawa: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
University of TorontoVision, Mission and MandateUniversity of Toronto: Vision, Mission and Mandate
University of TorontoStudent ExperienceUniversity of Toronto: Student Experience
University of TorontoInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceUniversity of Toronto: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
University of TorontoAccess and EquityUniversity of Toronto: Access and Equity
University of TorontoResearch Excellence and ImpactUniversity of Toronto: Research Excellence and Impact
University of TorontoInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementUniversity of Toronto: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
University of WaterlooVision, Mission and MandateUniversity of Waterloo: Vision, Mission and Mandate
University of WaterlooStudent ExperienceUniversity of Waterloo: Student Experience
University of WaterlooInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceUniversity of Waterloo: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
University of WaterlooAccess and EquityUniversity of Waterloo: Access and Equity
University of WaterlooResearch Excellence and ImpactUniversity of Waterloo: Research Excellence and Impact
University of WaterlooInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementUniversity of Waterloo: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
University of WindsorVision, Mission and MandateUniversity of Windsor: Vision, Mission and Mandate
University of WindsorStudent ExperienceUniversity of Windsor: Student Experience
University of WindsorInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceUniversity of Windsor: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
University of WindsorAccess and EquityUniversity of Windsor: Access and Equity
University of WindsorResearch Excellence and ImpactUniversity of Windsor: Research Excellence and Impact
University of WindsorInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementUniversity of Windsor: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
UOIT (OTU)Vision, Mission and MandateUOIT (OTU): Vision, Mission and Mandate
UOIT (OTU)Student ExperienceUOIT (OTU): Student Experience
UOIT (OTU)Innovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceUOIT (OTU): Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
UOIT (OTU)Access and EquityUOIT (OTU): Access and Equity
UOIT (OTU)Research Excellence and ImpactUOIT (OTU): Research Excellence and Impact
UOIT (OTU)Innovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementUOIT (OTU): Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Western UniversityVision, Mission and MandateWestern University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Western UniversityStudent ExperienceWestern University: Student Experience
Western UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceWestern University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Western UniversityAccess and EquityWestern University: Access and Equity
Western UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactWestern University: Research Excellence and Impact
Western UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementWestern University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityVision, Mission and MandateWilfrid Laurier University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityStudent ExperienceWilfrid Laurier University: Student Experience
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceWilfrid Laurier University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityAccess and EquityWilfrid Laurier University: Access and Equity
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactWilfrid Laurier University: Research Excellence and Impact
Wilfrid Laurier UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementWilfrid Laurier University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
York UniversityVision, Mission and MandateYork University: Vision, Mission and Mandate
York UniversityStudent ExperienceYork University: Student Experience
York UniversityInnovation in Teaching and Learning ExcellenceYork University: Innovation in Teaching and Learning Excellence
York UniversityAccess and EquityYork University: Access and Equity
York UniversityResearch Excellence and ImpactYork University: Research Excellence and Impact
York UniversityInnovation, Economic Development and Community EngagementYork University: Innovation, Economic Development and Community Engagement
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