On Campus

Post-secondary education in Canada: Meeting our needs?

The Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) has released its third annual report on the state of post-secondary education in Canada. The CCL suggests that this report, Post-secondary Education in Canada: Meeting our Needs?, is the most comprehensive analysis of Canadian post-secondary education ever produced.

Some key findings that caught my eye:

  • 85% of 15-year-old Canadians expect to attend university or college;
  • 58.5% of 18- to 24-year olds from families earning less than $25,000 participated in PSE in 2006, compared to 80.9% of youth from families with an income over $100,000;
  • 7.7% of the Aboriginal population has a university credential compared to 23.4% for the non-Aboriginal population;
  • the high-school dropout rate for 20- to 24-year-olds in small/rural communities was almost double that of youth in large cities;
  • In 2005, Canada placed 22nd out of 26 countries in the share of public expenditures on PSE. At 55.1%, Canada’s share was well below the OECD average of 73.1% and the EU average of 82.5%;
  • In 2006, Canada ranked 20th out of 30 OECD countries in the proportion of PhD graduates in science and engineering;
  • 20% of the university-educated population in Canada had prose literacy skills below Level 3 — the level required to cope in a modern society;
  • Between 1987 and 2006, university enrolment in Canada increased by 56% while the number of full-time university faculty increased by only 19%.

The full text of the report can be downloaded here in .pdf format.