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Canadian postsecondary enrolments and graduates, 2013/2014

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Released: 2015-11-30


Enrolments in Canadian public postsecondary institutions (colleges and universities) reached more than 2 million in the 2013/2014 academic year, up 1.2% from a year earlier.

International student enrolments rose 2.5% in 2013/2014, accounting for almost 10% of the total enrolments of 2,048,019. The majority of these students were from Asia, with China as the main country of citizenship. International student enrolments have been steadily increasing for almost two decades.

Enrolments rose in five provinces and in the territories. Ontario (+17,493) led the increases, followed by Quebec (+8,589) and British Columbia (+4,410).

About 6 out of 10 enrolments in Canadian postsecondary institutions in 2013/2014 were in programs at the bachelor level or above.

Women accounted for 56.3% of total enrolments. The gender difference was even more pronounced for part-time enrolments, with women accounting for almost 60%.

In contrast, women represented 45.6% of all international student enrolments in Canadian postsecondary institutions.

Enrolments rose in most fields of study in 2013/2014, with the same three fields as the previous year accounting for nearly half of all college and university enrolments: business, management and public administration (18.3%), humanities (15.8%) and social and behavioural sciences, and law (13.6%).

The largest increase in the number of enrolments was in the field of architecture, engineering and related technologies (+8,409). Enrolments in this field of study have been increasing for eight years.


In 2013, 498,759 students received a certificate, diploma or degree from a postsecondary institution, up 4.1% from a year earlier.

About half of these graduates had successfully completed a program at the bachelor level or above: 37.6% received a bachelor's degree, while 9.4% graduated with a master's degree and 1.4% with a doctorate.

Women represented 58.0% of the total number of graduates. They outnumbered their male counterparts in every province and accounted for over three-quarters of the graduates in the territories.

In 2013, over half of the college and university graduates received their qualification in one of these three fields of study: business, management and public administration (22.1%), social and behavioural sciences, and law (15.0%), or health and related fields (14.3%).

The top two fields of study for female graduates were business, management and public administration (21.8%) and health and related fields (19.3%), while for male graduates, they were architecture, engineering and related technologies (22.9%) followed closely by business, management and public administration (22.4%).

  Note to readers

Canadian postsecondary institution enrolment data for 2013/2014 and graduate data for 2013 are obtained for public colleges and universities using information from the Postsecondary Student Information System. The count excludes students enrolled in apprenticeship programs. Enrolment and graduate counts for certain institutions are preliminary or based on estimates.

The data are subject to annual revisions. These revisions are applied to include new data submissions, any updates to classification and changes in concepts.

The levels of enrolment presented are not meant to represent a complete enumeration of all students at postsecondary institutions during the 2013/2014 academic year. 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.

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.

Graduate data are published based on the calendar year.

It should be noted that some programs at the bachelor level and above can be offered in colleges.


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

Contact information

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