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Media release - April 22, 2015
Topics: AUCC News

New identity launched for the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad

OTTAWA – Effective today, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) becomes Universities Canada/Universités Canada.

Under the AUCC banner, adopted in 1965, the organization has brought universities together, facilitating a cohesive voice and a forum for collective action. The shift to Universities Canada/Universités Canada highlights the association’s focused role in supporting universities’ significant contribution to Canada.

“The evolution from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada to Universities Canada/Universités Canada marks a significant new era for our organization,” says Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada/Universités Canada. “Our new identity truly reflects the innovative, focused and dynamic nature of our organization, our work and our people. We are articulating more clearly who we are and what we stand for.”

The new identity features an iconic diamond image that symbolizes convergence and destination—a town square, a traffic intersection, a university quad. Turning it on end creates added dynamism, highlighting the need to continually advance in order to serve the needs of higher education, research and innovation.

The diamond expands outward from a common centre to symbolize growth, evolution, steadily increasing reach and inclusiveness. It illustrates that Canada’s universities are shaping responses to a perpetually changing world.

The new design includes an authoritative wordmark and punctuation, presenting a bold, timeless look.

About Universities Canada/Universités Canada

Universities Canada/Universités Canada (formerly AUCC) is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, representing the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges.


Media Contacts:

Helen Murphy
Assistant director, communications
Universities Canada/Universités Canada (formerly AUCC)
phone: 613-563-3961 ext. 238
cell: 613-608-8749

Nadine Robitaille
Communications officer
Universities Canada/Universités Canada (formerly AUCC)
phone: 613-563-3961 ext. 306
cell: 613-884-8401


Connect with us on Twitter: @univcan (our new Twitter handle effective Wednesday, April 22nd) and hashtag #universitiescanada.


Here is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the evolution and development of the new Universities Canada brand.


[Text on screen:]

Moving forward.

Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Universities Canada

Universities Canada.




Universities Canada.

Who do we connect?


What do we stand for?

Learning excellence
Academic freedom
Collegiality and community
Openness and transparency
Tangible results

Universities advancing education

Universities advancing research

Universities advancing learning innovation

Universities fostering partnerships

Universities fostering engagement

Universities fostering greater prosperity

Universities meeting social and economic challenges

Universities creating social and economic solutions

Universities creating social and economic solutions in Canada

Universities creating social and economic solutions in Canada and around the globe

Universities moving forward in Canada and around the globe

Universities moving forward in Canada

Universities in Canada

Universities Canada.

The voice of Canada’s universities.

Media release - April 21, 2015

OTTAWA – New investments in research and students announced in today’s federal budget will make Canada more innovative and prosperous, say the country’s universities.

The federal government’s funding of $1.33 billion over six years to the Canada Foundation for Innovation ensures that Canada’s globally competitive international research platform will continue to be a world leader for discovery. Today’s investments will help build leading-edge research infrastructure to support top talent – faculty and students at universities across the country.

“Funding for research delivers long-term benefits to Canada’s society and our economy,” says David Barnard, chair of the 97-member strong Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and president of the University of Manitoba. “Investments in the Canada Foundation for Innovation will keep more top Canadian researchers here, attract world-leading international talent, train the next generation of discoverers and innovators, and enable us to pursue promising new areas of research – where Canada can lead.”

Additional investments in research granting councils in 2016-17 are also welcome. Together with new investments in CANARIE, TRIUMF and previously announced funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope, this illustrates how the government of Canada invests across the higher education, research and innovation spectrum.

“Today’s investments in research and innovation will help solve human challenges, boost creativity and innovation and make Canada’s economy more competitive,” Dr. Barnard says.

Today’s federal budget contains significant investments in the next generation of researchers and innovators, adds Paul Davidson, president of AUCC. Funding of $56.4 million for Mitacs’ Accelerate program will support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, allowing them to apply their specialized expertise and knowledge to business-related challenges. “By expanding experiential learning opportunities, more employers will benefit from the extraordinary talent of young Canadians,” Mr. Davidson says.

Aboriginal students will also gain greater access and support for postsecondary education through $12 million for Indspire, an Indigenous-led organization that delivers postsecondary scholarships and bursaries for First Nations and Inuit students.

Postsecondary students and their families will benefit from important changes to Canada’s student loans program, which will boost young people’s ability to complete a postsecondary education – an important advantage in today’s knowledge-intensive world.

“The university community welcomes these important and far-reaching investments in research, higher education and innovation,” says Dr. Barnard. “They will benefit Canada and Canadians now and for years to come.”


Media Contact:
Helen Murphy
Assistant director of communications
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
613 563-3961 ext. 238 or cell: 613 608-8749

Nadine Robitaille
Communications officer
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
613 563-3961 ext. 306 or cell: 613 884-8401

Commentary - April 17, 2015

by Andrew Parkin
Former director general, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada 

This op-ed was originally published on the Academica Group’s Rethinking Higher Ed Forum on April 15, 2015 

Are we pushing too many young people to go to university?

A new paper by Ken Coates argues that a preoccupation with universities and a tendency to overlook the more job-relevant training offered by colleges and polytechnic institutes is leading too many young Canadians astray. The paper, published at the end of March by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives as part of its “Jobs and Skills for the 21st Century” initiative, grabbed headlines because of its suggestion that we should cut university spaces by 25 to 30 percent and refocus our attention on producing more career-ready college graduates.

There is nothing wrong with shining the spotlight on Canada’s college sector and its success in aligning programs with job opportunities. There is a problem, however, with arguing that, if we want more college graduates in order to address anticipated skills shortages, we need fewer university ones. If the goal is to better align education with the needs of the labour market, we need to do better than engage in a zero-sum trade off between the college and university sectors.

As a first step, it is worth pointing out that Canada already stands out internationally because of its of its exceptionally strong college sector; by international standards, however, its university sector is comparatively small.

Canada ranks third in the OECD in terms of the proportion of its young adult population (age 25 to 34 years old) that has attained a tertiary education (whether college or university). This respectable position, however, is the result of the fact that the proportion of young Canadian adults with a college degree is very high, at 25 percent. This is good for second place in the OECD, behind only Korea.

By contrast, Canada ranks only 17th in the OECD in terms of the proportion of young adults with a university degree (32 percent). True, more young Canadian adults have a university degree than a college diploma. But is also true that in no other country is the difference between the relative size of the two groups of graduates as small.

This doesn’t mean that we could not benefit from even more college graduates. The point is simply that Canada does not look at all like a country that has over-emphasized university education to the detriment of colleges.

Fortunately, there is a more sensible way to boost college enrollment than by cutting university spaces. And that is to focus on the one in three young Canadians who are currently navigating the labour market without the benefit of any form of postsecondary education or training whatsoever.

If there is any group in Canadian society that is “too large” in the context of today’s knowledge intensive economy, it is the 32 percent of young Canadian adults who either never finish high school, or who end their formal education and training once their high school studies are complete. These are the young Canadians whose skills are least likely to meet the needs of employers, and who are most at risk of unemployment and under-employment.

Nothing made this clearer than the experience of the most recent recession. Unemployment spiked in the late 2000s, but the worsening job market affected those with and without a postsecondary education quite differently.

Jobs for those age 25 to 54 with no education beyond high school dropped by over 3 percent between 2008 and 2010; for those with a trades certificate or college degree, employment fell by less than one percent. But for those with a university degree, the number of jobs increased by 5 percent, representing a net gain of over 160,000 jobs. In fact, the economy added jobs for university graduates in this age group in every year during and after the recession period, including the years when the overall unemployment rate increased.

Similarly, the unemployment rate for those age 25 to 54 with neither a college diploma nor a university degree jumped three percentage points from a low of 5.3 percent to a high of 8.3 percent during the recession. By comparison, the rate for college graduates rose only 2.1 points, and only 1.8 points – from 3.5 to 5.3 percent – for university graduates.

The Canadian experience is typical of that of most industrialized countries. As the OECD pointed out in a recent study of youth in the aftermath of the economic crisis, the burden of economic adjustment has fallen disproportionately on youth with lower levels of education. And it is no stretch to anticipate that the same will be true in the case of the adjustments underway right now in the Canada’s oil-producing regions as the petroleum industry reacts to new market realities.

If we really want to focus on creating a better fit between education and the labour market and producing “career ready” graduates in an ever more demanding economy, the implication is clear. The problem is not an over-emphasis on universities but an under-emphasis on any and all forms of postsecondary education and training. This is the type of career information that students planning for their future need to hear.

This brings us to the most misdirected part of Coates’ argument, which is his claim we are doing a disservice to too many young Canadians by encouraging them to set their aspirations too high. This, he complains, only leads to universities having to cope with classrooms that include “marginally talented” students who are “ill-suited” to university studies.

Certainly, one way for universities to respond to the growing numbers and more diverse backgrounds of students is to pull their doors more tightly shut. Thankfully, most realize there is a much better way, which is to introduce new programs and services and re-emphasize teaching quality in order to meet the needs of these students – and of the employers who will eventually hire them.

In the 21st-century, all institutions and businesses have had to adapt and innovate to stay relevant and competitive. It is not clear why Coates—unlike so many of his peers—believes that the university professoriate should be an exception to this rule.

Media release - April 13, 2015

Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada

Leveraging university resources for better business

Uncertain economic times.
Growing demand for sophisticated skills and new knowledge.
An increasingly competitive global marketplace.

Today’s businesses must be nimble, responsive and visionary in the face of emerging challenges. Partnering with universities helps companies and communities gain this competitive advantage.

Join Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada, as he looks at universities’ role in providing the skills, new knowledge and innovation Canada needs to compete, open up new markets and get fresh ideas to market faster.

Mr. Davidson will take you behind the scenes of today’s universities and illustrate how higher education is building prosperity through research, innovation and experiential learning.  He’ll talk about the many ways universities provide young Canadians with the workforce experience, entrepreneurial skills and international and intercultural opportunities employers want and Canada needs. Learn how to harness the potential of universities to make Canada’s businesses, communities and regions stronger.

Monday, May 25, 2015
Registration: 11:45 AM
Buffet Lunch & Presentation: 12:00 Noon

Fredericton Inn
1315 Regent Street, Fredericton NB, E3C 1A1

$30 for Chamber Members
$50 for Future Chamber Members

For more information on programming and tickets, please go to the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce website.

Media release - April 6, 2015

OTTAWA – The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada welcomes the federal government’s commitment of $243.5 million in new funding to the Thirty-Metre Telescope (TMT), the largest telescope ever to be built and a major international research collaboration.

Canada has been a founding partner in the international observatory, to be located in Hawaii, and played a critical role in its design. A consortium including twenty Canadian universities is now a full partner in building the telescope facility, along with organizations such as The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), The National Institutes of Natural Sciences (Japan), The National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Science (China) and The Regents of the University of California (UC).

The TMT’s observations will help answer questions about the early universe, the formation of stars, planets and galaxies, the relationship between black holes and galaxy formation, and the frequency and types of extrasolar planets. With the announcement at The University of British Columbia earlier today, Canada has secured access to this world-leading facility for our top researchers in the field.

“This timely investment gives certainty to Canada’s role in this globally important project,” says Paul Davidson, president of AUCC. “In each of its budgets the government has invested in university research and innovation and we look forward to seeing in greater detail how the research and innovation agenda will be advanced in Budget 2015.”

The voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, the association represents the interests of 97 Canadian public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges.


Media Contact:

Helen Murphy
Assistant director of communications
613 563-3961 ext. 238 or cell: 613 608-8749

( Total - 267 )