Facts and stats

Get the most up-to-date statistics on Canadian universities.

Overview

  • 1.7M
    students at Canadian universities in 2014-2015

    There were 979,000 full-time students and 312,000 part-time students in 2014-2015.

    Source: Association of Atlantic Universities, Council of Ontario Universities and individual institutions.
  • 1M+
    new jobs

    Between June 2008 and June 2015, about twice as many net new jobs were created for university graduates than for college and trades graduates combined.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2008-2015.
  • $35B
    enterprise

    As a $35 billion enterprise in direct expenditures, universities are significant drivers of economic prosperity. They provide employment for close to 250,000 people.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Financial Information of Universities and Colleges Survey and Labour Force Survey, 2014.

Data tables

Jobs and skills

Providing students with career-boosting learning opportunities

  • 80%
    of employers

    Four out of five employers surveyed say co-op and internship students are a source of new talent and potential future employees.

    Source: Leger Marketing employer survey for Universities Canada, 2014.
  • 55%
    of undergraduates

    More than half of today’s undergraduates benefit from experiential learning – such as co-ops, internships and service learning – as part of their university education.

    Source: Canadian University Survey Consortium, Graduating University Student Survey, 2015.
  • 25%
    growth in co-ops

    Enrolment in co-op programs at universities has jumped by 25 percent in recent years, from 53,000 students in 2006 to 65,000 students in 2013.

    Source: Based on data from the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education, 2006-2013.
  • $65K+
    Arts grads earn good incomes

    Social science and humanities grads share in the income premium for university graduates. For example, full-time workers with degrees in history earn, on average, above $65,000 annually.

    Source: Statistics Canada, National Household Survey, 2011.
  • 32
    universities are business incubators

    Thirty-two universities are members of the Canadian Association of Business Incubators, a national association that supports the growth of new and early-stage businesses.

    Source: Canadian Association of Business Incubators, 2015.
  • 55%
    of leaders are liberal arts grads

    The social sciences and humanities make up more than half of bachelor’s degrees among current professional leaders with higher education qualifications, across 30 countries and all sectors.

    Source: British Council, Educational Pathways of Leaders: an international comparison, 2015.

Indigenous education

Closing the gap for Indigenous students

  • 9.8%
    have university degrees

    Only 9.8 percent of Indigenous people aged 25 to 64 in Canada have a university degree.

    Source: Statistics Canada, National Household Survey, 2011.
  • 2/3
    of universities offer transition programs

    Programs that help Indigenous students transition into university studies are offered by 61 Canadian universities.

    Source: Universities Canada 2013 survey on Indigenous representation at Canadian universities.
  • 50%
    higher earnings

    With a university degree, Indigenous graduates can earn 50 percent more than their peers with only a high school diploma.

    Source: Statistics Canada, National Household Survey, 2011.
  • 82%
    employment with financial support

    Eighty-two percent of Indigenous students who received funding from Indspire found work after their studies, and 84 percent of them are serving Indigenous people in their career.

    Source: Indspire, Creating Positive Outcomes: Graduation and Employment Rates of Indspire's Financial Award Recipients, 2015.
  • 71%
    of universities link with Indigenous communities

    Seventy-one percent of universities partner with local Indigenous communities, offering outreach programs, educational support and mentorship opportunities to students.

    Source: Universities Canada 2013 survey on Indigenous representation at Canadian universities.
  • 1/3
    of programs offered off campus

    More than a third of programs designed for Indigenous students are offered off campus, increasing access to university education in remote communities.

    Source: Universities Canada 2013 survey on Indigenous representation at Canadian universities.

Student mobility

Fostering cross-cultural competencies and adaptability

  • 3.1%
    of students study abroad every year

    Just 3.1 percent of full-time undergraduates (about 25,000) had a short-term international experience in 2012-13. Only 2.6 percent had a for-credit experience abroad.

    Source: Universities Canada Internationalization Survey, 2014.
  • 82%
    cite enhanced competitiveness

    Eighty-two percent of employers that hire recruits with international and intercultural experiences say these employees enhance their company’s competitiveness.

    Source: Leger Marketing employer survey for Universities Canada, 2014.
  • 91%
    of universities say funding a challenge

    Although 78 percent of universities provide some funding to support study abroad initiatives, 91 percent say that lack of funds is one of the top three reasons for low student mobility rates.

    Source: Universities Canada Internationalization Survey, 2014
  • 10%
    of students leave their province

    Current estimates suggest that only one in 10 young Canadians crosses a provincial border to complete their university degree.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Postsecondary Student Information System, 2012.
  • 97%
    of universities offer international experiences

    Ninety-seven percent of universities offer their students international experiences such as academic coursework, field schools, work-terms and community service learning.

    Source: Universities Canada Internationalization Survey, 2014.
  • 2/3
    of managers say Canada at risk

    Two out of three hiring managers say Canada is at risk of being left behind dynamic global economies like China, India and Brazil unless young Canadians learn to think more globally.

    Source: Leger Marketing employer survey for Universities Canada, 2014.

Research and innovation

Positioning Canada as a global leader in research and innovation

  • $12B
    in R&D

    Universities performed over $12 billion in R&D in 2014, accounting for 40 percent of total Canadian research and development.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D in Canada, 2014.
  • $1B
    in research for business

    Every year, Canada’s universities conduct close to $1 billion in research for businesses and help build their competitive advantage.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D in Canada, 2014.
  • $1.2B
    in research for not-for-profit sector

    Universities conduct $1.2 billion in research annually for the not-for-profit sector, which has nearly tripled since 2000.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Gross Domestic Expenditures on R&D in Canada, 2014.
  • 1,500
    companies in university research parks

    Nearly 1,500 companies and government labs are located in 26 university research and technology parks. They employ about 65,000 people and generate $4.3 billion in GDP.

    Source: Association of University Research Parcs Canada, National Economic Impact Study, 2013.
  • 40%
    of faculty are internationally trained

    Forty percent of faculty at Canadian universities have at least one international degree.

    Source: Statistics Canada, University and College Academic Staff System, 2010-2011.
  • 6%
    decrease in funding

    Taking inflation into account, funding for the federal research councils has decreased by six percent since 2007.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Federal extramural expenditures on science and technology, 2015.
Universities Canada