Indigenous student education

Our position

Indigenous peoples face significant barriers to postsecondary education. As a result, far fewer First Nations, Métis and Inuit in Canada have a university degree than non-Indigenous Canadians. Education is key to the reconciliation process and universities are committed to helping Indigenous students achieve their potential through education. Our institutions partner with Indigenous communities in developing unique programs to support Indigenous students’ access and success in higher education.

We ask the federal government to provide:

  • Additional direct financial assistance for Indigenous students pursuing a university education
  • New assistance for institutional-level programs that support Indigenous student retention and success at university.

“The Indigenous population is growing six times faster than the non-Indigenous population in Canada — we need to draw on the talents and knowledge of this new generation.”

By the numbers

  • 86%
    of universities offer targeted services

    These services include academic counselling and peer mentorship to meet the unique needs of Indigenous students.

    Source: Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.
  • 69%
    of universities offer transition programs

    These include outreach programs in Indigenous communities, academic support and mentorship for Indigenous students starting as early as the elementary school level.

    Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.
  • 33%
    increase of targeted programs

    Universities offer 233 undergraduate and 62 graduate programs on Indigenous issues or for Indigenous students - a 33% increase since 2013.

    Source: Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.

Spotlight on

Universities Canada