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Spending on research and development in the higher education sector, 2011/2012

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Released: 2013-07-08

Spending on research and development (R&D) in Canada's higher education sector increased by 3.4% on a fiscal year basis between 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 to $11.6 billion. The higher education sector comprises universities and affiliated research hospitals, experimental stations and clinics.

Provincially, R&D spending by higher education institutions increased in every province except Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan.

Ontario and Quebec combined continue to report about two-thirds of R&D spending in the higher education sector. These two provinces have the highest concentration of universities, research hospitals, experimental stations and clinics in Canada.

The higher education institutions themselves increased spending by 4.4% in 2011/2012 from the previous year, maintaining their position as the leading source of funds, contributing 44.6% or $5.2 billion to total higher education R&D spending. The federal government was the second largest source, providing 26.5% of the total, or $3.1 billion, while provincial governments followed as the third largest funding source with a 10.4% share or $1.2 billion.

Total expenditures on R&D are also calculated by two science types: natural sciences and engineering as well as social sciences and humanities. Spending on higher education R&D in the natural sciences and engineering field rose by 3.7% from the previous year to $9.3 billion. Over the past decade, this type of science has consistently accounted for about 80% of total expenditures on R&D in the higher education sector. In the social sciences and humanities field, higher education R&D spending increased by 2.1% to $2.3 billion.

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