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Canadian postsecondary enrolments and graduates, 2012/2013

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Released: 2014-11-25


Over 2 million students were enrolled in Canadian postsecondary institutions during the 2012/2013 academic year, up 1.1% from the previous year.

Enrolments were up in six provinces in 2012/2013, ranging from 1.0% in Saskatchewan to 1.8% in Ontario. Enrolments were down in the three Maritime provinces, British Columbia and the territories.

International student enrolments increased 6.9% in 2012/2013 to 199,836.

About 6 in 10 students attending a Canadian postsecondary institution in 2012/2013 were enrolled in programs at the bachelor level or above.

Women accounted for 56.3% of total enrolments compared with 43.7% for men. These proportions have remained stable over the past decade.

Enrolments were still highly concentrated in the same three fields of study: business, management and public administration (18.2%); humanities (15.8%); and social and behavioural sciences and law (13.5%).


In 2012, 478,737 students received a certificate, diploma or degree from a postsecondary institution, up 3.0% from the previous year.

Over half of postsecondary graduates (51.5%) had successfully completed a program at the bachelor level or above.

Female graduates represented 58% of the total number of graduates in 2012, continuing a long trend in which female graduates have outnumbered their male counterparts.

About half of the 2012 graduates received their qualification from the same three fields of study as in 2011. Business, management and public administration accounted for the highest proportion of graduates with 21.9% of the total; followed by social and behavioural sciences and law (14.6%); and health and related fields (14.5%).

Female graduates continued to outnumber men in every field of study except mathematics, computer and information sciences; architecture, engineering and related technologies; personal, protective and transportation services; and agriculture, natural resources and conservation.

  Note to readers

Canadian postsecondary institution enrolment data for 2012/2013 and graduate data for 2012 are obtained using information from the Postsecondary Student Information System. Enrolment and graduate counts for certain institutions are preliminary or based on estimates.

Levels of enrolment presented are not meant to represent a complete enumeration of all students at postsecondary institutions during the academic year of 2012/2013. Rather, they are based on students enrolled in postsecondary institutions at the time of the fall snapshot date, that is, a single date chosen by the institution that falls between September 30 and December 1. Therefore, students who are not enrolled during this time period are excluded. This has a greater impact on colleges as they have a continuous intake of students and offer shorter programs. It should also be noted that enrolments are based on program counts and not on student counts. If a student is enrolled in more than one program as of the snapshot date, then all of his/her programs are included in the count. The count also excludes students enrolled in apprenticeship programs.

Data are subject to revision.


A data table is available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Summary tables.

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