Fast facts – Education

Young students in front of computers with their teacher in the backgroundIs it worth completing university?

Based on 2008 data, earnings of university graduates were 70% higher on average than graduates of high school or trade/vocational programs in Canada.

Employment prospects increase with educational attainment. In 2009, Canada's employment rate for adults aged 25 to 64 who had not completed secondary education was 55%. The rate for graduates of college and university programs was 82%. Education indicators in Canada: An international perspective

College and university

Average employment income, by age group and education level, Canada 2006
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Between 1999 and 2009, the proportion of adults aged 25 to 64 who had a college diploma or a university degree rose from 39% to 50% in Canada.

Universities have posted record enrolments in recent years, with about 1.1 million Canadian students in 2007/2008. Table 10.8: University enrolment, by instructional program, 1994/1995 to 2007/2008

A higher percentage of women than men aged 25 to 34 have a university degree: 33% of women versus 25% of men in 2006.

Fewer young adults are completing trades education than their parents. About 10% of adults aged 25 to 34 had a trade certification in 2006, compared with 13% of adults aged 55 to 64. Overview 2010

The cost of education

Ontario had the highest undergraduate university tuition fees in 2011/2012 and Quebec had the lowest. See average fees by province and by discipline within each province.

In 2007, 35% of Canadian households spent money on education for things like tuition, school supplies and textbooks.

Households spent an average $222 on school supplies, $543 on textbooks, and $4,017 on postsecondary tuition in 2007. Education expenses

Throughout the 1990s, tuition fees increased every year by an average of 10%, then in the 2000s, by an average of 4%. Full‑time undergraduate tuition fees climbed on average faster than the Consumer Price Index. Table: Undergraduate tuition fees and the Consumer Price Index  Overview 2008 (Tuition fees)

Measuring up internationally

Fifteen-year-old Canadians continue to be among the best in the world in reading, mathematics and science. Program for international student assessment (PISA)

See countries performing better than, or the same as Canada in mathematics and science in 2009.

See countries performing better than, or the same as Canada in reading and average scores for provinces and countries in 2009.

Number of kids in school

Just under 5.1 million students were enrolled in publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Canada during the academic year 2009/2010, down 0.2% from the previous academic year.

Enrolment has declined in general in every province and territory except Alberta since 1999/2000. The largest declines were in the Atlantic provinces, followed by the Northwest Territories. Similarly, between 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, enrolment also fell in all jurisdictions except Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.

Table A.1.1  Headcount enrolments in public elementary and secondary schools, Canada, provinces and territories, 2005/2006 to 2009/2010

Online Learning

The most common type of education-related use of the Internet is to research information for project assignments or to solve academic problems. Table: Internet users, by type of education activity, 2005  Online learning

Students are receiving instruction online as an alternative to traditional learning. In 2003/2004, more than one-third of secondary schools had students taking online courses, compared with only 3% of elementary schools. Connected schools

Career aspirations

The careers that youth aspire to are distributed differently than the actual occupations in the economy (Chart 1: Percent distribution of occupations). Are students basing their career goals on what they hear about in school and in the media rather than on the actual economy?

Dropping out and returning

In the last 20 years, the high school drop-out rate has declined by half, the largest decline happening in the 1990s. Drop-out rates continue to fall. The drop-out rate is still higher for boys than for girls. Chart 6: High-school drop-out rate, by sex

Most recently, drop-out rates are lowest in British Columbia (6.2%) and highest in Quebec (11.7%). Dropping out has declined in all provinces

Over half of the high school students who dropped out between 1999 and 2007 later returned and obtained their high school diploma and one third moved on to postsecondary education. Interrupting high school and returning to education

High school graduates

About 341,700 students graduated from public secondary schools in 2008/2009, an increase of 3.3% from the previous year. These include graduates from upgrading and vocational programs for youth and adults, as well as from regular high school programs.

Table A.10  Number of graduates, Canada, provinces and territories, 2002/2003 to 2008/2009


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