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

Hands-on learning

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.
  • 86%
    of universities offer targeted services

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

    Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.
  • 30+
    Indigenous languages taught at universities

    Between 2013 and 2015, the percentage of universities offering Indigenous language courses increased from 44% to 54%.

    Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 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.
  • 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.

    Universities Canada survey of members on Indigenous education, 2015.

Studying across borders

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

  • $13B
    in R&D

    Universities performed over $13 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.
  • 7%
    decrease in funding

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

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