Canada’s Top School by Student Satisfaction 2019: Bishop’s University

Known for its homecoming festivities and school spirit, the Bishop’s campus is designed for socializing
Sarah Niedoba
Students hanging out in the dorm rooms. (Bishop’s University)

Students looking for a close-knit community and a charming small-town atmosphere have long turned to Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Que. Founded in 1843, it prides itself on a strong culture of school spirit and inclusion.

With just 2,500 full-time students, Bishop’s seeks to offer an intimate university experience. The school boasts small class sizes, offering students a chance to engage with their professors one-on-one. Students are encouraged to pursue internships and research opportunities with their instructors whenever possible.


The 550-acre campus is designed to offer countless gathering spaces for students to connect between classes or on their way to a club meeting.

A gazebo, a labyrinth and countless benches line pedestrian paths and bike lanes, which link the campus’s 25 buildings. The grounds also feature two theatres, three gyms, a music recital hall and an 800-seat arena. Students have access to 10 tennis courts, an outdoor pool and a golf course in the warmer months.

In 2015, the school opened the John H. Price Sports and Recreation Centre, which offers a wide range of programs and classes. The school’s football team, the Gaiters, have been a source of campus pride for decades, with students proudly sporting Bishop’s purple colours at home games. The school considers the team an identity that “transcends sports disciplines and athletic inclination.”

The school is known for its elaborate homecoming festivities and its annual Winterfest party. In the winter, a cross-country ski trail is open, and lessons are available for students who want to try their hand.

Campus residences offer students a chance to create a home away from home, with movie rooms and designated study spaces. Residents can also apply to live in “Living Learning Communities”—specialized floors that each offer a unique focus. Students who live on the eco floor take part in discussions around environmental issues and take up weekly sustainable living challenges like litter-free lunches, while those on the health and fitness floor organize events focused on active lifestyles and general wellbeing.

The campus is on the outskirts of Sherbrooke, a small but vibrant city. Those looking to venture further off the beaten path will find eight ski hills within driving distance, 125 km of bike paths and the Old Lennoxville Golf Club, the oldest nine-hole golf course in Canada. The school is situated on the banks of the St. Francis and Massawippi rivers, on which students go rafting in the warmer months.

Bishop’s has consistently scored well in national student satisfaction rankings. In the 2015 National Survey for Student Engagement, it ranked in the top 10 per cent of North American schools for collaborative learning, higher-order learning, student-faculty interaction, quality of interaction and supportive environment.