May 26, 2011, OTTAWA – Demography is not destiny. That’s one of the lessons contained in the latest data on university enrolment in Canada, compiled and analyzed by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) in its new report, Trends in Higher Education, Vol. 1 – Enrolment.This new publication looks at current trends in university enrolment and the drivers of demand for a university education in Canada.
“At a time when there’s a growing national dialogue on higher education and how we can best prepare our young people for the demands of a changing world, this data is very helpful to the decision-making process of not only governments, but also students and their families,” says AUCC President Paul Davidson. “There is very insightful information here about the income advantage of a university education, for example, as well as the growth and quality of employment opportunities for university graduates.”
Trends points out that even during the recessionary years of 2008-2010, 300,000 new jobs were created for university graduates. This compares to 430,000 jobs lost for those with no postsecondary education. The research also shows that the income advantage for a bachelor’s graduate over a registered tradesperson or college graduate working full-time is 40 percent ($1 million), while the advantage over those with a high school education grows to 75 percent ($1.3 million).
Among other interesting findings is that during times of declining population in the 18-to-24 age group, university enrolments continued to grow across Canada, proving that while demographics is an important factor driving enrolment, it clearly is not the most important factor.
Trends also looks at looming challenges facing Canada as they relate to university enrolment. For example, in the next two decades the number of Canadians over the age of 65 will double while the number of Canadians of typical working age will grow by only eight percent. And the more than six million baby boomers retiring during this time will cause greater demand for legal, health and social services throughout the economy. A more educated and productive workforce is vital to securing a high quality of life for Canadians in such challenging times.
For more information:
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada
Tel.: 613-563-1236, ext. 238