This letter was submitted to the Saint John Telegraph Journal in response to the Editorial “Universities need complete refocus” published on February 25, 2015.
By Paul Davidson, president, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
As highlighted in your Feb. 24 editorial, sharp demographic and economic shifts require changes in postsecondary education.
In every recession we see shifts in employment outcomes for graduates that rebound as conditions improve. But even recent graduates coming out of a degree program in the midst of the economic downturn are faring very well in the labour market today. Statistics Canada’s 2013 National Graduate Survey reveals that just three years after completion well over 90% of bachelor’s graduates are employed – and almost 85% in full-time jobs. Their average income is some $53,000 – effectively at the outset of their careers. The unemployment rate for these recent graduates was just 5%.
Today’s university experience responds to demographic and economic changes through innovation and collaboration. It’s rich with hands-on learning, community partnerships, global experiences and research opportunities. Half of all Canadian university students across all disciplines now complete at least one co-op experience, practicum, and internship or field placement by the time they graduate.
In regions with declining populations and significant economic challenges, education and innovation are key to fueling prosperity. This is what New Brunswick’s universities do.
Tagged: Co-ops and internships
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