Back to school 2018 quick facts

The 1.7 million students heading to Canadian university campuses this fall will benefit from innovations in teaching and learning as well as entrepreneurship, research and cross-border opportunities – all designed to equip them to adapt to, and succeed in, our rapidly changing global knowledge economy.

Universities nurture the curiosity, resourcefulness and resilience that build a mindset for lifelong learning.

Preparing for a disrupted labour market

  • 50%
    skills shift

    Half of Canadian jobs will require a major skills shift in the next 10 years as technological advancements change the way we work.

    Source: RBC, Humans Wanted – How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption, April 2018.

Job-ready

Major employers agree that Canadian university graduates are adaptable and equipped with the strong foundational, technical, numeracy and literacy skills needed to respond to this skills shift.

Source: Business Council of Canada, Navigating change: 2018 Business Council Skills Survey, spring 2018.

Armed against automation

While many jobs are at risk of automation in the coming decades, several studies agree that university graduates will be best able to adapt to an automated future.

Source: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Skills for an automated future, March 2018.

The new lifelong learning reality

  • 87%
    believe in lifelong learning

    Nearly 9 of 10 employed Canadians agree that lifelong learning is crucial for career success, and essential to meeting society’s and individuals’ needs.

    Source: Ipsos poll on behalf of Royal Roads University, October 2016.
  • 400K
    in continuing education

    Currently 400,000 Canadians are enrolled in university continuing education programs across the country.

    Source: Universities Canada estimates, 2017.

Today's learning is hands-on

  • 56%
    benefit from hands-on learning

    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, 2018.
  • 100%
    target for work-integrated learning

    Canada’s universities support access to work-integrated learning for 100% of Canadian students.

Going global

  • 11%
    study abroad

    Only 11% of Canadian undergraduates undertake an international mobility experience over the course of their degree, despite the clear benefits of global study to building future skills.

    Source: Study Group on Global Education, Global Education for Canadians: Equipping Young Canadians to Succeed at Home & Abroad, November 2017.

A social equalizer

Global study leads to better academic success, as well as higher employment rates and salaries. This is especially true for students from less-advantaged backgrounds such as Indigenous students, first generation university students and people with disabilities.

Source: Study Group on Global Education, Global Education for Canadians: Equipping Young Canadians to Succeed at Home & Abroad, November 2017.

Opportunities in emerging markets

Students who do go abroad are still overwhelmingly traveling to traditional English- or French-speaking destinations. Canada needs more students pursuing international study in emerging markets that are priorities for economic and diplomatic ties, such as Asia, Latin America and Africa

Source: Study Group on Global Education, Global Education for Canadians: Equipping Young Canadians to Succeed at Home & Abroad, November 2017.

Helping Indigenous youth succeed

  • 55%
    increase in Indigenous academic programs

    Since 2013 there has been a 55% increase in the number of academic programs that include an Indigenous focus or are designed for Indigenous students.

    Source: Universities Canada survey, 2017.
  • 78%
    offer intercultural engagement

    Seventy-eight percent of universities promote intercultural engagement through cultural activities, events, talking circles and cultural competency or reconciliation training.

    Source: Universities Canada survey, 2017.
  • ˃ 51%
    offer Indigenous language courses

    More than half of Canada’s universities now offer Indigenous language courses, and a growing number of non-language courses are offered in an Indigenous language.

    Source: Universities Canada survey, 2017.

Preparing business leaders

  • 58%
    of entrepreneurs have a university degree

    Entrepreneurship drives Canada’s economy and 58% of Canadian entrepreneurs are university students or graduates.

    Source: Universities Canada and Startup Canada, Joint survey, 2017.
  • 60
    university entrepreneurial hubs

    Canadian universities are home to more than 60 business incubators, accelerators and start-up programs that help fuel Canada’s entrepreneurial economic growth.

    Source: Universities Canada and Startup Canada, Joint survey, 2017.
  • 40%
    of student entrepreneurs took an entrepreneurship program

    Forty percent of student/graduate entrepreneurs have taken a university entrepreneurship program or course.

    Source: Universities Canada and Startup Canada, Joint survey, 2017.
Universities Canada