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The heart of innovation in Canada


Text on screen: [Universities Canada/Universités Canada logo]

Background music

While music is playing:

Text on screen:  [In conversation with …]

Text on screen: [Peter Stoicheff, President, University of Saskatchewan]

Text on screen: [The heart of innovation in Canada]

Peter Stoicheff, president, University of Saskatchewan: When you talk about innovation in this country, and the research that leads to innovation, it’s going to be happening primarily at – at universities.

Text on screen: [Universities host 60 incubators, accelerators and start-up programs]

Peter Stoicheff: I think of universities as talent engines. They – they attract talent and they produce talent. They circulate talent. And there really is no other sector of society that does that, particularly with people at such a young age who are learning so many things.

From my experience, universities have reasonably close relationships, or at least dialogues, with government. Where the gap is mostly is with industry and with the private sector.

While Peter Stoicheff is speaking:

[Two men speaking in a laboratory]

[A researcher holding a prop of a brain in a laboratory]

[A researcher of Asian descent observing the synchrotron in a laboratory]

Text on screen: [Canada dropped from 18th to 25th place 2014-2016 in the global ranking of business spending on R&D]

Peter Stoicheff: Some way of closing that gap through industry liaison offices at every institution, with innovation and research parks that are associated with institutions, with incubators that are associated with universities, you know, those are the things that we really need to be much more purposeful about.

While Peter Stoicheff is speaking:

[Indigenous student wearing a hard hat and working in a chemical plant]

[A male researcher observing plants outdoors]

[Two young women conducting science experiment in lab]

Text on screen: [Universities Canada/Universités Canada logo]

Text on screen: [The Voice of Canada’s Universities]

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Helen Murphy
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University facts

  • $35B

    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.
  • 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.
  • 1.4M
    new jobs

    Between March 2008 and March 2016, 1,416,600 new jobs were created for university graduates -- almost triple as many new jobs for college and trades graduates combined.

    Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2008-2016.

Presidents' perspective

Demand for liberal arts graduates


People criticize the liberal arts because they think … our graduates aren’t employable.

But in fact, in 2008, when the economic difficulties struck, the people who were employed in Canada were 95 percent of engineering graduates, 94 percent of health profession graduates and 91 percent of liberal arts graduates, social science and humanities graduates.

And if you ask employers about the skills they want, they want exactly those skills which the liberal arts provide.

They teach student to think critically and creatively, to weigh evidence sceptically, to look at more than one perspective or one side of every question.

The late Steve Jobs said, you know, when he unveiled the last piece of technology before he passed, he said that it’s not technology alone, but technology married with the liberal arts that produces the results that makes our hearts sing.

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