Education Indicators in Canada: Handbook for the Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program March 2024
Section D: Postsecondary education

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D1 Enrolment in postsecondary education

Registered apprentices

Overall, Indicator D1 portrays postsecondary enrolment. This sub-indicator presents information on the number of registered apprentices in Canada, and in its provinces and territories.

Table 37-10-0219-01 presents the apprenticeship programs by age groups, major trade groups, sex and registration status. Included in this table are numbers and percentages of apprenticeship registrations.

Concepts and definitions

Information on the number of registered apprentices is based on data provided by apprenticeship branches in the provinces and territories and includes all individuals registered in an apprenticeship program, whether or not they had been enrolled in any formal classroom training during the year. This information is collected through the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), which gathers information on individuals who receive training and those who obtain certification in a trade for which apprenticeship training is being offered; specifically, the number of registered apprentices taking in-class and on-the-job training in trades that have either Red Seal or non-Red Seal endorsement, and for which apprenticeship training is either compulsory or voluntary. The RAIS survey also compiles data on the number of provincial and interprovincial Red Seal certificates granted to apprentices or trade qualifiers (challengers).Note

  • Provincial and territorial governments co-ordinate apprenticeship programs in their jurisdiction. Most of the apprentice's training time is spent on the job working with experienced, certified tradespersons who act as mentors, usually over an average period of three to four years. A portion of the apprenticeship program is spent in formal classroom instruction prior to or during their apprenticeship period.
  • The numbers of registered apprentices are presented for the following 25 major trade groups, by sex: automotive service; carpenters; early childhood educators and assistants; community and social service workers, electricians; electronics and instrumentation; exterior finishing; food service; hairstylists and estheticians; heavy duty equipment mechanics; heavy equipment and crane operators; interior finishing; landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists; machinists; metal workers (other); millwrights; oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers; plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters; refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics; sheet metal workers; user support technicians; welders; stationary engineers and power plant operators; construction workers (other); and other.Note These 25 major trade groups comprise a special grouping that was created using the National Occupation Classification (NOC).
  • The numbers and percentages of registered apprentices are provided for the following seven age groups: under 20; 20 to 24; 25 to 29; 30 to 34; 35 to 39; 40 to 44; 45 and over; and for those whose age was unknown.

Methodology

  • The Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) survey is an annual census. Data are collected for all registered apprentices and trade qualifiers (challengers); no sampling is done. Response is mandatory and data are collected from administrative files supplied by provincial apprenticeship branches. The information is requested in individual record format and each record represents a registered apprentice or trade qualifier (challenger); however, multiple registrations in more than one trade by an individual do exist in the data. Information is collected on registration status of apprentices at the beginning and during the reporting period; their status during and at the end of the reporting period; the number of credits accumulated at the start and during their apprenticeship as well as the type of certificate granted. The reference period is the calendar year, and the collection period is February through September of the reference year.
  • The RAIS collected aggregate data by trade programs from 1980 to 1990. It included information on the number of new registrations, total registrations, leavers, completions and certificates granted. In 1991, in response to requests for more information on individual apprentices, the survey began collecting additional information on sex and age and requested information in individual record format. It should be noted that aggregate reporting still existed for some jurisdictions until 2007. Since 2008, the provinces and territories have been providing data at the individual level.
  • In 2008, the RAIS underwent a major survey redesign, and a number of new data elements were added and requested from the jurisdictions. Some of the new data elements being requested relate to the number of technical and on-the-job hours completed by apprentices during their training.
  • Beginning with the 2008 data, the RAIS used the National Occupation Classification (NOC) to create a special grouping of 25 major trade groups. All RAIS historical data have been revised to reflect these 25 groups.

Limitations

  • To ensure the confidentiality of responses, all counts are randomly rounded to a multiple of 3. As a result, when the data are summed or grouped, the total value may not match the sum of the individual values, since the total and subtotals are independently rounded. Similarly, percentage distributions, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.
  • The information on number and percentage distribution of registered apprentices that is presented by age group also includes an "age unknown" category, as age was not available for some records due to missing information.
  • Provinces and territories, which provide the data for this release, make operational and administrative changes related to the training and certification of the trades within their jurisdictions. Changes have occurred in all provinces and territories since 1991 that affect historical comparisons. For the 2013 reporting period in particular, these changes had an impact on all data collected by the survey, including the number of registrations, participation in Red Seal and non-Red Seal apprenticeship programs, and certificates awarded. Interpretation of the data should be made within the context of these administrative and operational changes. For further information on federal, provincial and territorial changes see the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) Guide.

Data Sources

  • Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 3154.

Colleges

Overall, Indicator D1 portrays postsecondary enrolment. This sub-indicator presents information on student enrolment in colleges.

  • Table 37-10-0018-01 presents college enrolments by gender, registration status and program type. These counts are presented for full- and part-time students. The percentage of female enrolment relative to total full-time college enrolment, by program type, is also examined. Data are presented for Canada, and for the provinces and territories.
  • Table 37-10-0018-02 presents proportion of male and female college enrolments, by registration status and program type.

It should be noted that sex was replaced by gender in the 2017/2018 Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) release therefore, the sub-indicators included under this section have been updated accordingly.

Concepts and definitions

  • The information presented reflects college enrolments. Enrolments are based on students enrolled in the postsecondary institutions at the time of the fall snapshot date, that is, a single date chosen by the institution which falls from September 30th to December 1st. Therefore, students who are not enrolled during this time period are excluded and enrolment totals do not represent a full academic year. All enrolments are based on program counts and not 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.
  • Colleges are created under the authority of either a province’s Colleges Act or equivalent, or under a Society/Societies Act or equivalent, with education as a primary purpose. These institutions are created primarily to offer certificate, diploma, and transfer or continuing education and professional development programs requiring less than three years of full-time study. They are often circumscribed by government and often need to seek government approval to introduce new programs, especially degree programs. High school completion is generally required for admission.
  • College refers to community colleges, CEGEPs (collège d’enseignement général et professionnel or college of general and vocational education in Quebec), technical institutes, hospital and regional schools of nursing, radiography, medical technology and health records, as well as establishments providing technological training in specialized fields.
  • Registration status captures enrolment for full- and part-time students on the day of the snapshot. Since there is no commonly accepted definition for the registration status of full- and part-time students, it is defined by the reporting postsecondary institutions.
  • Information is presented for the following program types offered at colleges:
    • Total enrolment, all programs, for both part-time and full-time students, also includes the category “Other program levels,” which is not presented in the tables. “Other program levels” includes “program levels not applicable” or “non-programs” (taking non-credit courses or taking courses without seeking a credential).
    • College certificate or diploma and other programs at the college level includes college postsecondary programs; college post-diploma programs; collaborative degree programs; university transfer programs from a college or CEGEP (includes associate degrees); and college preliminary year courses.
    • Undergraduate enrolment captures those programs leading to a bachelor’s degree, an applied degree, a university preliminary year or pre-bachelor, or to an undergraduate-level certificate or diploma.
    • Graduate portrays programs leading to a master’s degree or other university graduate-level certificates or diplomas.

Methodology

  • The data on college enrolments were extracted from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), a national survey that enables Statistics Canada to publish information on enrolments in and graduates of postsecondary education institutions in Canada. Implemented in 2000, PSIS replaced the following three surveys: the University Student Information System (USIS), the Community College Student Information System (CCSIS) and the Trade and Vocational Student Survey (TVOC).
  • PSIS is a census with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up. Data are collected for all units of the target population; no sampling is done. Up to and including 2007, the target population was Canadian public and private not-for-profit postsecondary institutions (universities, community colleges and trade and vocational training centres). As of 2008, the target population is postsecondary institutions that are publicly funded by provincial ministries of education or their equivalent. Each postsecondary institution (the “collection unit”) provides Statistics Canada with data pertaining to its programs and students.
  • The college data presented here exclude students enrolled in programs related to pre-employment, apprenticeship, basic training or skills upgrading, second language training, job readiness or orientation programs.

Limitations

  • From year to year, more institutions are reporting data using the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) format. The institutions that report data using the PSIS format are asked to include students enrolled in non-programs, including non-credit activities, as well as undergraduate- and graduate-level enrolments. In general, this has resulted in institutions reporting a larger number of student enrolments. Starting in 2000/2001, enrolments from private non-subsidized institutions that were part of the PSIS survey were no longer included.
  • These figures on college enrolment should not be compared with those published before PSIS was introduced in 2000. All PSIS data are subject to revision.
  • To ensure the confidentiality of responses, all counts are randomly rounded to a multiple of 3. Since the total and subtotals are independently rounded, the total values may not match the sum of the individual values. Similarly, percentage distributions, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.
  • The college enrolment figures for both sexes include enrolments for which sex was not reported; therefore, these figures may not match the totals obtained when the enrolments for males and females are added together.
  • The denominator used to calculate the percentage of females relative to total full-time college enrolment excludes enrolments for which sex was not reported.

Data Sources

  • Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 5017.

Universities

Overall, Indicator D1 portrays postsecondary enrolment. This sub-indicator provides information on student enrolment in universities.

  • Table 37-10-0018-01 presents university enrolments by gender, registration status and program type. These counts are presented for full- and part-time students. The percentage of female enrolment relative to total full-time university enrolment, by program type, is also examined. Data are presented for Canada and the provinces (there are no universities in the territories).
  • Table 37-10-0018-02 presents proportion of male and female university enrolments, by registration status and program type.

It should be noted that sex was replaced by gender in the 2017/2018 Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) release therefore, the sub-indicators included under this section have been updated accordingly.

Concepts and definitions

  • The information presented reflects university enrolments. Enrolments are based on students enrolled in the postsecondary institutions at the time of the fall snapshot date, that is, a single date chosen by the institution which falls from September 30th to December 1st. Therefore, students who are not enrolled during this time period are excluded and enrolment totals do not represent a full academic year. All enrolments are based on program counts and not 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.
  • Universities are created under the authority of a province’s University Act or equivalent, or under a Society/Societies Act or equivalent, with education as a primary purpose. These institutions are created primarily for the purposes of offering degree programs and to conduct research. They generally have complete authority to set their own academic standards and priorities. Within the institution, the supreme authority on all academic policy is generally a body on which faculty predominate.
  • Registration status captures enrolment for full- and part-time students on the day of the snapshot. Since there is no commonly accepted definition for the registration status of full- and part-time students, it is defined by the reporting postsecondary institutions.
  • Information is presented for the following program types offered at universities:
    • Total enrolment, all programs, for both full-time and part-time students, includes the following categories not presented in the tables: “trade/vocational and preparatory training certificate or diploma,” “community college certificate or diploma or other community college level” and “other program levels.” “Other program levels” includes “program levels not applicable” or “non-programs” (taking non-credit courses or taking courses without seeking a credential.
    • Undergraduate enrolment captures those programs leading to a bachelor’s degree, a first professional degree, an applied degree, university preliminary year or pre-bachelor, undergraduate level certificate or diploma, license undergraduate and licentiate or testamur.
    • Graduate reflects enrolment in programs leading to a master’s degree, an earned doctorate, post-doctoral program, master’s qualifying year, university graduate level certificate or diploma, PhD qualifying year or probationary, internship (postgraduate medical education known as post-MD) and residency (medical, dental, veterinary).

Methodology

  • The data on university enrolments were extracted from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), a national survey that enables Statistics Canada to publish information on enrolments in and graduates of postsecondary education institutions in Canada. Implemented in 2000, PSIS replaced the following three surveys: the University Student Information System (USIS), the Community College Student Information System (CCSIS) and the Trade and Vocational Student Survey (TVOC).
  • PSIS is a census with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up. Data are collected for all units of the target population; no sampling is done. Up to and including 2007, the target population was Canadian public and private not-for-profit postsecondary institutions (universities, community colleges and trade and vocational training centres). As of 2008, the target population is postsecondary institutions that are publicly funded by provincial ministries of education or their equivalent. Each postsecondary institution (the “collection unit”) provides Statistics Canada with data pertaining to its programs and students.

Limitations

  • From year to year, more institutions are reporting data using the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) format. The institutions that report data using the PSIS format are asked to include students enrolled in non-programs. In general, this has resulted in institutions reporting a larger number of student enrolments.
  • These figures on university enrolment should not be compared with those published before PSIS was introduced in 2000. Enrolments counts for 2004/2005 through 2007/2008 have been revised, and all PSIS data are subject to revision.
  • To ensure the confidentiality of responses, all counts are randomly rounded to a multiple of 3. Since the total and subtotals are independently rounded, the total values may not match the sum of the individual values. Similarly, percentage distributions, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.
  • The university enrolment figures for both sexes include enrolments for which sex was not reported; therefore, these figures may not match the totals obtained when the enrolments for males and females are added together.
  • The denominator used to calculate the percentage of females relative to total full-time university enrolment excludes enrolments for which sex was not reported.
  • Since 2005/2006, enrolments for University of Regina have not been available.
  • The following institutions, previously colleges, now have the status of universities and are included in the 2008/2009 counts for British Columbia: Capilano University, Vancouver Island University, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and University of the Fraser Valley. The increase in enrolment for Canada in 2008/2009 was mainly due to the attribution of university status to these five colleges. Part of this increase in university enrolment was in “Trade/vocational and preparatory training certificate or diploma” and “Community college certificate or diploma or other community college level” programs.
  • In 2009/2010, Grant McEwan and Mount Royal colleges (Alberta) became universities. As of 2018/2019, Alberta College of Art and Design became the Alberta University of the Arts.

Data Sources

  • Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 5017.

International students

Overall, Indicator D1 portrays postsecondary enrolment. This sub-indicator provides information on international student enrolment in universities and colleges.

  • Table 37-10-0163-03 presents the proportion of Canadian and international student enrolments, by International Standard Classification of Education.
  • Table 37-10-0163-04 presents the distribution of international student enrolments, by level of tertiary education.
  • Table 37-10-0184-02 presents the postsecondary international student enrolments by International Standard Classification of Education and by country of citizenship.

Concepts and definitions

This indicator presents international students as a proportion of enrolment in tertiary education in accordance with the four International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) categories,Note which represent enrolments in colleges and universities. Their distribution by province of study and by region of origin are also presented.

International students are those who are pursuing education in a country other than their country of residence or the country in which they were previously educated. In Canada, the concept of “international students” includes non-permanent residents,Note such as those with a study permit. It also includes those enrolled in a Canadian program from a Canadian institution that is not located in Canada (also known as “offshore students”) as well as non-Canadian students studying via the Internet.

Methodology

The proportion of enrolment at a given education level by international students is obtained by dividing the number of students who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents of Canada by the total number of students at that level, and multiplying this ratio by 100. The total number of students includes all individuals educated in Canada, whether they are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals as well as “off-shore students”, but it excludes all Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are educated abroad.

Data sources

The Canadian data were drawn from Statistics Canada’s Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), which covers only public postsecondary institutions. Results for some jurisdictions rely in part on estimates made for non-responding institutions. Due to certain methodological adjustments that have been made to the PSIS collection tool to improve reporting and mapping to ISCED, comparisons of results with those from previous years should not be made.

The OECD data on foreign students and international students reflect the same academic year as for Canada, and are drawn from the UOE collection of statistical data on education, which was carried out by the OECD. In Canada and other OECD countries, domestic and international students are usually counted on a specific day or period of the year (e.g., PSIS provides a count of students enrolled in public colleges and universities in Canada based on enrolment for a single date chosen by the institution that falls between September 30 and December 1). This procedure may not capture the total number of international students as some students may study abroad for less than a full academic year (e.g., those that enter in the winter or spring terms).

Note: The corresponding OECD indicator is B6, What is the profile of internationally mobile students?.

D2 Graduation from postsecondary education

Certificates granted to registered apprentices and postsecondary graduates

Registered apprenticeship completions

Overall, Indicator D2 examines trends in postsecondary completions. This sub-indicator presents information on the number of individuals completing registered apprenticeship programs in Canada, and in its provinces and territories.

  • Table 37-10-0220-01 presents apprenticeship certifications by age group, major trade group and sex. This table includes number and percentage of apprenticeship certifications.

Concepts and definitions

  • The information on registered apprenticeship completions is based on data provided by apprenticeship branches in the provinces and territories and includes registered apprentices who have completed their program. This information is collected through the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), which gathers information on individuals who receive training and those who obtain certification in a trade for which apprenticeship training is being offered; specifically, the number of registered apprentices taking in-class and on-the-job training in trades that have either Red Seal or non-Red Seal endorsement, and for which apprenticeship training is either compulsory or voluntary. Multiple completions by an individual can exist. The RAIS survey also compiles data on the number of registered apprentices, which includes those still registered from the previous year (apprentices who have not yet completed and have not withdrawn from training), apprentices newly registered during the current year and those who had previously discontinued their apprenticeship but were reinstated in the same trade during the reporting year.
  • The numbers of registered apprenticeship completions are presented for the following 25 major trade groups, by sex: automotive service; carpenters; early childhood educators and assistants; community and social service workers, electricians; electronics and instrumentation; exterior finishing; food service; hairstylists and estheticians; heavy duty equipment mechanics; heavy equipment and crane operators; interior finishing; landscape and horticulture technicians and specialists; machinists; metal workers (other); millwrights; oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers; plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters; refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics; sheet metal workers; user support technicians; welders; stationary engineers and power plant operators; construction workers (other); and other.Note These 25 major trade groups comprise a special grouping that was created using the National Occupation Classification (NOC).

Methodology

  • The Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) survey is an annual census. Data are collected for all registered apprentices and trade qualifiers (challengers); no sampling is done. Response is mandatory and data are collected directly from administrative files supplied by provincial apprenticeship branches. The information is requested in individual record format and each record represents a registered apprentice or trade qualifier (challenger); however, multiple registrations in more than one trade by an individual do exist in the data. The reference period is the calendar year, and the collection period is February through September of the reference year.
  • The RAIS collected aggregate data by trade programs from 1980 to 1990. It included information on the number of new registrations, total registrations, leavers, completions and certificates granted. In 1991, in response to requests for more information on individual apprentices, the survey began collecting additional information on sex and age and requested information in individual record format. It should be noted that aggregate reporting still existed for some jurisdictions up until 2007. As of 2008, all provinces and territories report on an individual level.
  • In 2008, the RAIS underwent a major survey redesign, and a number of new data elements were added and requested from the jurisdictions. Some of the new data elements being requested relate to the number of technical and on-the-job hours completed by apprentices during their training.
  • Beginning with the 2008 data, the RAIS used the National Occupation Classification (NOC) to create a special grouping of 25 major trade groups. All RAIS historical data have been revised to reflect these 25 groups.

Limitations

  • To ensure the confidentiality of responses, all counts are randomly rounded to a multiple of 3. As a result, when the data are summed or grouped, the total value may not match the sum of the individual values, since the total and subtotals are independently rounded. Similarly, percentage distributions, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.
  • Provinces and territories, which provide the data for this release, make operational and administrative changes related to the training and certification of the trades within their jurisdictions. Changes have occurred in all provinces and territories since 1991 that affect historical comparisons. For the 2013 reporting period in particular, these changes had an impact on all data collected by the survey, including the number of registrations, participation in Red Seal and non-Red Seal apprenticeship programs, and certificates awarded. Interpretation of the data should be made within the context of these administrative and operational changes. For further information on federal, provincial and territorial changes see the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) Guide.

Data Sources

  • Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 3154.

Colleges

Overall, Indicator D2 examines trends in postsecondary completions. This sub-indicator provides information on the number of college graduates, by gender, program type and field of study.

  • Table 37-10-0020-01 presents college graduates by institution type, status of student in Canada and gender.
  • Table 37-10-0020-02 presents proportion of male and female college graduates by institution type, status of student in Canada.

It should be noted that sex was replaced by gender in the 2017/2018 Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) release therefore, the sub-indicators included under this section have been updated accordingly.

Concepts and definitions

  • The information presented examines trends in postsecondary completions for colleges; that is, the number of certificates, diplomas and degrees granted by colleges. All counts reflect the academic year as defined by the college, which generally begins on the first day after the end of the winter semester. As of 2009, the college graduate counts are released by the calendar year to align with how the university graduates are reported. For 2008 and prior years, college graduates were released based on an academic year. Because of the transition of how graduates are calculated from 2008 to 2009, some graduates released in 2009 may have also been released with the 2008 college graduate data.
  • Colleges are created under the authority of either a province’s Colleges Act or equivalent, or under a Society/Societies Act or equivalent, with education as a primary purpose. These institutions are created primarily to offer certificate, diploma, and transfer or continuing education and professional development programs requiring less than three years of full-time study. They are often circumscribed by government and often need to seek government approval to introduce new programs, especially degree programs. High school completion is generally required for admission.
  • College refers to community colleges, CEGEPs (collège d’enseignement général et professionnel or college of general and vocational education in Quebec), technical institutes, hospital and regional schools of nursing, radiography, medical technology and health records, as well as establishments providing technological training in specialized fields. Programs related to pre-employment, apprenticeship, basic training or skills upgrading, second language training, job readiness or orientation programs are not included in these college completion counts.
  • Information is presented for the following program types offered at colleges:
    • College certificate or diploma and other credential at the college level includes: college postsecondary programs; college post-diploma programs; collaborative degree programs; university transfer programs from a college or CEGEP (includes associate degree); and college preliminary year courses.
    • Undergraduate refers to programs leading to a bachelor’s degree, an applied degree, a university preliminary year or pre-bachelor, or to an undergraduate-level certificate or diploma.
    • Graduate portrays programs leading to a master’s degree or other university graduate-level certificates or diplomas
  • The field of study data are presented according to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP PG), the official classification used at Statistics Canada. The number of certificates, diplomas and degrees granted by colleges are presented for the following fields of study: personal improvement, education, visual and performing arts, and communications technologies, humanities, social and behavioural sciences and law, business, management and public administration, physical and life sciences and technologies, mathematics, computer and information sciences, architecture, engineering, and related technologies, agriculture, natural resources, and conservation, health and related fields, personal, protective and transportation services, other.

Methodology

  • The data on the number of certificates, diplomas and degrees granted by colleges were extracted from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), a national survey that enables Statistics Canada to publish information on enrolments in and graduates of postsecondary education institutions in Canada. Implemented in 2000, PSIS replaced the following three surveys: the University Student Information System (USIS), the Community College Student Information System (CCSIS) and the Trade and Vocational Student Survey (TVOC).
  • PSIS is a census with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up. Data are collected for all units of the target population; no sampling is done. Up to and including 2007, the target population was Canadian public and private not-for-profit postsecondary institutions (universities, community colleges and trade and vocational training centres). As of 2008, the target population is postsecondary institutions that are publicly funded by provincial ministries of education or their equivalent. Each postsecondary institution (the “collection unit”) provides Statistics Canada with data pertaining to its programs and students.
  • The college data presented here exclude completions from programs related to pre-employment, apprenticeship, basic training or skills upgrading, second language training, job readiness or orientation.

Limitations

  • From year to year, more institutions are reporting data using the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) format. The institutions that report data using the PSIS format are asked to include undergraduate and graduate completions from colleges. In general, this has resulted in institutions reporting a larger number of completions. Starting in 1999/2000, completions from private non-subsidized institutions that were part of the survey were no longer included.
  • These figures on college completions should not be compared with those published before PSIS was introduced in 2000. All PSIS data are subject to revision.
  • To ensure the confidentiality of responses, all counts are randomly rounded to a multiple of 3. Since the total and subtotals are independently rounded, the total values may not match the sum of the individual values. Similarly, percentage distributions, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.
  • The college completion figures for both sexes include individuals for whom sex was not reported; therefore, these figures may not match the totals obtained when the completions for males and females are added together.

Data Sources

  • Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 5017.

Universities

Overall, Indicator D2 examines trends in postsecondary completions. This sub-indicator provides information on the number of university graduates, by gender and Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP PG).

  • Table 37-10-0020-01 presents university graduates by institution type, status of student in Canada and gender. Data are presented for Canada and the provinces (there are no universities in the territories) and by calendar year.
  • Table 37-10-0020-02 presents proportion of male and female university graduates by institution type, status of student in Canada.

It should be noted that sex was replaced by gender in the 2017/2018 Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS) release therefore, the sub-indicators included under this section have been updated accordingly.

Concepts and definitions

  • The information presented examines trends in postsecondary completions for universities. All counts reflect the number of graduates in the calendar year.
  • Universities are created under the authority of a province’s University Act or equivalent, or under a Society/Societies Act or equivalent, with education as a primary purpose. These institutions are created primarily for the purposes of offering degree programs and to conduct research. They generally have complete authority to set their own academic standards and priorities. Within the institution, the supreme authority on all academic policy is generally a body on which faculty predominate.
  • Information is presented for the following credential types offered at universities:  certificates, diplomas, degrees (including applied degrees), attestations and other short program credentials, associate degrees and other types of credential associated with a program.
  • The field of study data are presented according to the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP PG), the official classification used at Statistics Canada. The number of certificates, diplomas and degrees granted by colleges are presented for the following fields of study: personal improvement, education, visual and performing arts, and communications technologies, humanities, social and behavioural sciences and law, business, management and public administration, physical and life sciences and technologies, mathematics, computer and information sciences, architecture, engineering, and related technologies, agriculture, natural resources, and conservation, health and related fields, personal, protective and transportation services, other.

Methodology

  • These data were extracted from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), a national survey that enables Statistics Canada to publish information on enrolments in and graduates of postsecondary education institutions in Canada. Implemented in 2000, PSIS replaced the following three surveys: the University Student Information System (USIS), the Community College Student Information System (CCSIS) and the Trade and Vocational Student Survey (TVOC).
  • PSIS is a census with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up. Data are collected for all units of the target population; no sampling is done. The target population is postsecondary public institutions that are financed by a provincial ministry of education and postsecondary private institutions for non-profit that are subsidized by a provincial ministry of education.

Limitations

  • All PSIS data are subject to revision.
  • To ensure the confidentiality of responses, all counts are randomly rounded to a multiple of 3. Since the total and subtotals are independently rounded, the total values may not match the sum of the individual values. Similarly, percentage distributions, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.
  • The university completion figures for both sexes include individuals for whom sex was not reported; therefore, these figures may not match the totals obtained when the completions for males and females are added together.

Data Sources

  • Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada Web site, survey 5017.

Postsecondary completions and graduation rates

Overall, Indicator D2 examines trends in postsecondary completions. This sub-indicator presents information on the graduation and persistence of individuals completing career, technical or professional training certificate programs in Canada, and in its provinces and territories.

  • Table 37-10-0136-01 presents data on the Graduation of career, technical or professional training certificate students, within Canada, by student characteristics.
  • Table 37-10-0138-01 presents data on the proportion of students who started in a career, technical or professional training certificate program and graduated with a different educational qualification, within Canada, by student characteristics.
  • Table 37-10-0139-01 presents data on the persistence and graduation of students in a STEM/ BHASE (non-STEM) grouping other than that of the first enrolment, within Canada, by student characteristics and educational qualification.
  • Table 37-10-0140-01 presents data on the graduation of career, technical or professional training certificate students, within the province or territory of first enrolment, by student characteristics.
  • Table 37-10-0143-01 presents data on the proportion of students who started in a career, technical or professional training certificate program and graduated with a different educational qualification, within the province or territory of first enrolment, by student characteristics.
  • Table 37-10-0145-01 presents data on the graduation of career, technical or professional training certificate students, within the STEM/BHASE (non-STEM) grouping and province or territory of first enrolment, by student characteristics.
  • Table 37-10-0146-01 presents data on the persistence and graduation of students in a STEM/BHASE (non-STEM) grouping other than that of first enrolment, within the province or territory of first enrolment, by student characteristics and educational qualification.

For concepts, definitions, methodology, limitations and sources, please see the Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform reference guide.

D3 University educators

Indicator D3 presents information on university educators in Canada and the provinces. It outlines the number of full-time university educators, providing breakdowns by academic rank and by sex. The male–female distribution of educators, by age, is also examined, as well as the age distribution of educators compared with that of the overall labour force. Average salaries, by academic rank and by sex, are also presented.

  • Table 37-10-0144-03 presents the proportion of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities, by gender and academic rank.
  • Table 37-10-0228-01 presents the number and distribution of full-time academic staff at Canadian universities by age group, gender and province.

Concepts and definitions

  • Full-time university educators refers to all full-time teaching staff employed in universities in Canada.
  • Full-time includes:
    • staff appointed on a full-time basis whose term of appointment is not less than 12 months (including any staff member on leave);
    • new appointees hired on a full-time basis (i.e., whose term of contract is greater than 12 months) and who are at the institution for less than 12 months in the first year; and
    • staff who were appointed to teach 12 months or more and at a later date entered into a formal agreement with the institution to work on a reduced load basis. This situation usually arises with staff members who are approaching retirement.
  • Teaching staff refers to:
    • all teachers within faculties, whether or not they hold an academic rank;
    • academic staff in teaching hospitals;
    • visiting academic staff in faculties; and
    • research staff who have an academic rank and a salary scale similar to teaching staff.

In Number and salary of full-time university teaching staff, by academic rank and sex, Canada and provinces, the definition of full-time university staff  is similar to that used in other D3 Tables, but excludes staff who are on unpaid leave, all religious and military personnel or similar staff paid according to salary scales lower than those applying to regular/lay staff, and staff having a salary of zero or unreported.

  • The following academic ranks are used:
    • full professors, referring to the most senior rank;
    • associate professors, the mid-level rank (requirements vary considerably between institutions and departments);
    • assistant professors, the entry-level rank;
    • other, which refers to lecturers, instructors and other teaching staff.
  • Gender gap is defined as the average salary of female university educators as a percentage of the average of males.

Methodology

  • The information on full-time university educators is from the University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS), which conducts an annual survey that collects national comparable information on the number and socio-economic characteristics of full-time teaching staff at Canadian degree granting institutions (universities and colleges). The information is collected for each individual staff member employed by the institution as of October 1st of the academic year, presenting a snapshot as of that date.
  • The percentage distribution of university educators by age and median age is based on educators for whom age is known.
  • Salaries and salary scales of full-time teaching staff at Canadian universities are based on the annual rate of salary plus stipends. The data are in current dollars. The Consumer Price Index should be used to convert the data to constant dollar amounts for comparison over time. For the index and further details on converting, please see Table F.1.3 in the “Reference statistics” section.
  • The Labour Force Survey data used to compare the age distribution of the overall full-time employed labour force with that of full-time university teaching staff are based on a monthly average from September to April.

Limitations

  • To ensure the confidentiality of responses, a random rounding process is applied to the data. As a result, when these data are summed or grouped, the total values may not match the sum of the individual values, since the total and subtotals are independently rounded. Similarly, percentage distributions, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.

Data Sources

  • University and College Academic Staff Survey, Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada website, survey 3101.
  • Labour Force Survey, Statistics Canada. For more information, consult “Definitions, data sources and methods”, Statistics Canada website, survey 3701.

D4 Research and development

Indicator D4 presents information on research and development (R&D), focusing on the R&D performed by the higher education sector. The context for R&D activities carried out in the higher education sector is provided by examining total domestic expenditures on R&D as a percentage of GDP (table 27-10-0359-01) from an international and national perspective. Expenditures on R&D by performing sector (tables 27-10-0360-01 and 27-10-0273-02) are outlined, as are sources of funding for R&D expenditures in the higher education sector (table 27-10-0363-01).

Concepts and definitions

  • The R&D data presented in this indicator are assembled based on guidelines presented in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Frascati Manual.Note These guidelines indicate that research and development (R&D) is considered to be any creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of scientific and technical knowledge and to use this knowledge in new applications. The central characteristic of R&D is an appreciable element of novelty and of uncertainty. New knowledge, products or processes are sought. The work is normally performed by, or under the supervision of, persons with postgraduate degrees. An R&D project generally should possess the following five criteria: the outcome should be uncertain, and the work should be creative, novel, systematic and transferable / reproducible.
  • Total domestic expenditures on R&D represent the total value of domestic expenditures on R&D across all performing sectors (categorized as government, business enterprise, higher education, and private non-profit organizations). It includes R&D performed within a country and funded from abroad but excludes payments for R&D performed abroad.
  • The definition of total domestic expenditures on R&D in a provincial/territorial context is similar to that provided above. The expenditures are assigned to the province or territory in which the performing establishment is located. Personnel may live in an adjoining province or territory (e.g., the National Capital Region) and materials and equipment may come from another province or territory or country; these factors must be taken into consideration when using this statistic as a provincial/territorial indicator of R&D activity.
  • R&D performing sectors are categorized as follows:
    • Federal government, which includes departments and agencies known to participate in R&D activities.
    • Provincial governments, which include departments and agencies of provincial governments in Canada (currently estimated), as well as provincial research organizations (which are surveyed annually).
    • Business enterprise is composed of all companies and industrial non-profit organizations that perform and/or fund research and development (R&D), or have had R&D expenditures in the past and continue to make or receive technology payments.
    • Higher education, in reference to the pan-Canadian R&D statistics, covers universities and affiliated institutions such as research hospitals, research institutes, experimental stations, and clinics under the direct control of or administered by higher education establishments. Although OECD guidelines request that R&D in the entire postsecondary sector be reported, data for Canada are limited to R&D activities in universities and affiliated institutions as data on R&D in colleges and similar institutions are not currently collected at Statistics Canada.
    • Private non-profit comprises all private non-profit organizations that perform and/or fund research and development (R&D), such as voluntary health organizations, private philanthropic foundations, associations and societies, and research institutes. These not-for-profit organizations serve the public interest by supporting activities related to issues of public welfare (such as health, education, and the environment).
  • Sources of funds for R&D in the higher education sector are categorized as follows:
    • Federal government, through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada Research Chairs, and other federal departments and agencies.
    • Provincial governments, including municipal governments.
    • Business enterprises, including donations, bequests and contracts from individuals and businesses.
    • Private non-profit organizations, including donations, bequests, and contracts from foundations and not-for-profit organizations.
    • Foreign sources, which are funding entities located abroad and can come from any economic sector.
    • Higher education sector, which funds its own R&D using two revenue streams:
      • General funds: These represent government transfers (or block grants) to higher education institutions that are used to support R&D activity. Although these funds essentially represent indirect government spending on R&D, for the purposes of pan-Canadian statistics, they are allocated to higher education funding due to the difficulty of categorizing these funds as provincial or federal.
      • Own revenue sources: This refers to self-generated revenue of higher education institutions from sources such as tuition fees, investment income, revenue from sales of services and products by the institution, and license and patent incomes.

Methodology

  • Total domestic expenditures on R&D in Canada are estimated annually by Statistics Canada, by type of sector, source of funds, and science type using a series of surveys supplemented by modelling. Data for the provincial government performing sector are currently modelled based on responses from the 2010 Provincial Scientific Activities Survey. This release includes data on R&D activities performed by the provincial government of Quebec, which conducts their own survey and provide this information annually to Statistics Canada.
  • The expenditures for R&D performed by the higher education sector are derived from an estimation model, which uses the following components:
    1. direct sponsored research, which comes directly from Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) data;
    2. direct non-sponsored research (the time spent on R&D when it is undertaken as part of the teaching function, taking into account the portion of faculty time spent on this type of R&D and faculty salaries), which is estimated using several inputs including CAUBO data;
    3. indirect costs of sponsored and non-sponsored research, which is also estimated using several inputs including CAUBO data;
  • Sources of funds for expenditures on research and development in the higher education sector are derived from an estimation model. The data used in the model are obtained from the Financial Information of Universities Survey (FINUNI). These data on sources of funds for R&D conducted require two main refinements before they can be used: reconciliation of sector definitions and discrepancies between expenditure and income data.
  • The data on R&D in the higher education sector are based on an estimation procedure first incorporated for the 2000/2001 estimates.
  • During the 2001/2002 estimation procedure, there was a one-time grant to universities awarded by the federal government to assist with university indirect costs. The estimation system had to be modified to ensure those costs were sourced to the federal government and not double-counted. In 2003/2004, the indirect costs grant for R&D in universities became an annual payment.
  • R&D expenditures and source of funds data are shown in current dollars, and constant 2012 dollars. For comparison over time, constant dollars should be used.

Limitations

  • One of the most important issues relating to R&D concerns its definition. There remains some ambiguity in defining precisely what constitutes R&D; for example, in a continuing project, determining the precise point at which the project passes the boundary of R&D and becomes commercialized as a process or product for which it may be said that the R&D stage has been completed. This ambiguity is perhaps less serious in internal time series, where it may be expected that the year-to-year application of the definition by the same reporting unit will be consistent.
  • Estimates of total domestic expenditure on R&D, like any other social or economic statistic, can only be approximately true. Different components are of different accuracy, sector estimates probably vary from 5% to 15% in accuracy. However, estimates of total domestic expenditure are a sufficient indicator for their main use as an aggregate statistic for science policy.
  • The source for internationally comparative statistics on R&D is the OECD. OECD guidelines request that R&D in the entire postsecondary sector (defined as all universities, colleges of technology, and other institutes of postsecondary education, whatever their source of finance or legal status) be reported. However, data for Canada are limited to R&D activities in universities and affiliated institutions (including research hospitals) and degree-granting university colleges as data on R&D in colleges and similar institutions are currently not available.
  • FINUNI is a survey of Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) member universities which is effectively a sample of all Canadian higher education institutions. The population for FINUNI is a subset of the population of Canadian higher education institutions and this can lead to consequences when estimating. Private, degree-granting colleges and universities are often not included here.
  • In 2016 the OECD released an update to its R&D concepts and definitions in the Frascati 2015 manual. This manual provides additional detail on R&D measures.

Data Sources

  • OECD StatsExtracts, Main Science and Technology Indicators database, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  • Table 27-10-0273-01: Gross domestic expenditures on research and development, by science type and by funder and performer sector.
  • Table 27-10-0025-01: Provincial estimates of research and development expenditures in the higher education sector, by funding sector and type of science.

D6 Educational attainment

Indicator D6 examines educational attainment among the Canadian population aged 25 to 64Note . This indicator uses data from the Census of Population and the National Household Survey (NHS) to portray the distribution of the Canadian population aged 15 and over by level of education, and to present this information by age group, gender, and Indigenous identity, for Canada and its jurisdictions (table 98-10-0413-01). Additionally, the highest level of education for the population aged 15 and over is available, by visible minority and generation status, for Canada, the provinces and territories, census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations (table 98-10-0429-01). Educational attainment of the population by age group and sex for Canada, its jurisdictions and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are also presented (table 37-10-0130-01). Furthermore, data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) are used to present data for the off-reserve Indigenous population, the non-Indigenous population and the total population for Canada, the provinces and the territories (table 37-10-0117-01).

Census of Population and National Household Survey (NHS) Tables

Concepts and definitions

  • Highest certificate diploma or degree” is used to measure educational attainment, and is categorized as:
    • No certificate, diploma or degree.
    • High school diploma or equivalent refers to graduation from a secondary school or equivalent. It excludes persons with a postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree.
    • Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma includes trades certificates or diplomas such as pre-employment or vocational certificates and diplomas from brief trade programs completed at colleges, institutes of technology, vocational centres, and similar institutions. Apprenticeship certificate includes Certificate of Qualification and Journeyperson's designation.
    • College, CEGEP or other non-university certificate or diploma.
    • University, certificate or diploma below bachelor level. Comparisons with other data sources suggest that this category was over-reported in the National Household Survey (NHS) as it likely includes some responses that are actually college certificates or diplomas, bachelor's degrees or other types of education (e.g. university transfer programs, bachelor's programs completed in other countries, incomplete bachelor's programs, non-university professional designations). It is recommended that users interpret the results for this category with caution. For any other comments on data quality for this variable, refer to the Education Reference Guide, National Household Survey 2011, Catalogue no. 99-012-X2011006, the Education Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2016013 and the Education Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2021013.
    • University certificate, diploma or degree at bachelor level or above.
  • Prior to 2006 in similar tables in previous editions of PCEIP, educational attainment was presented using the census concept of "highest level of schooling" and those data should therefore not be directly compared with the data presented here for "highest certificate, diploma or degree," which reflects a revision in the 2006 Census. For more information on the census education variables, refer to the Education Reference Guide, National Household Survey, 2011, Catalogue no. 99-012-X2011006, the Education Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2016013 and the Education Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2021013.
  • “Generation status” refers to whether or not the person or the person's parents were born in Canada. For more information on immigration variables, including information on data quality and their comparability with other sources of data, please refer to the Place of Birth, Generation Status, Citizenship and Immigration Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.
  • Indigenous identity” includes persons who reported being an Indigenous person, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit) and/or those who reported Registered or Treaty Indian status, that is registered under the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported membership in a First Nation or Indian band. Indigenous peoples of Canada are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, section 35 (2) as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
  • Total Indigenous identity” includes Indigenous group (i.e., whether the person reported being an Indigenous person, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis, or Inuk (Inuit)), multiple Indigenous identities and Indigenous responses not included elsewhere.
  • Some Indian reserves and settlements did not participate in the 2011 NHS or the 2016 Census of Population as enumeration was either not permitted, it was interrupted before completion or because of natural events (e.g., forest fires). For additional information, please refer to the Indigenous Peoples Reference Guide, National Household Survey 2011, Catalogue no. 99-011-X2011006, the Indigenous Peoples Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2016009 and the Indigenous Peoples Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021, Catalogue no. 98-500-X2021009.
  • “Visible minority” refers to whether a person is a visible minority or not, as defined by the Employment Equity Act. The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non‑Caucasian in race or non‑white in colour." The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Arab, Latin American, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese. For more information on the population group variable, including information on its classification, the questions from which it is derived, data quality and its comparability with other sources of data, refer to the Visible Minority and Population Group Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021.

Methodology

  • The percentage of the population aged 15 and over in a given category of ‘highest certificate, diploma or degree’ was obtained by dividing the number of people aged 15 and over in that category by the total population aged 15 and over.

Limitations

  • To ensure confidentiality, the values, including totals, are randomly rounded either up or down to a multiple of '5' or '10.' To understand these data, you must be aware that each individual value is rounded. As a result, when these data are summed or grouped, the total value may not match the individual values since totals and sub-totals are independently rounded. Similarly, percentages, which are calculated on rounded data, may not necessarily add up to 100%.

Labour Force Survey Table

Concepts and definitions

  • The off-reserve Indigenous population refers to those persons who reported identifying with at least one Indigenous group; that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit). This is based on the individual’s own perception of his or her Indigenous identity.Note
  • Educational attainment refers to the highest level of schooling completed. For this indicator, which is based on data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), educational attainmentNote is categorized as:
    • Less than high school: No education or education below high school graduation.
    • High school: High school graduation or some postsecondary education (not completed).
    • Post-secondary non-tertiary education: Trades certificate or diploma from a vocational school or apprenticeship training.
    • Tertiary education: includes short-cycle tertiary education, Bachelor’s level education and Master’s or Doctoral level education;
    • Short-cycle tertiary education: non-university certificate or diploma from a community college, CEGEP, school of nursing and similar programs at this level; university certificate below bachelor’s degree.

Methodology

  • The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a monthly household survey of a sample of individuals who are representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized population 15 years of age or older. It is conducted nationwide, in both the provinces and the territories. Excluded from the survey’s coverage are: persons living on reserves and other Indigenous settlements in the provinces; full-time members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the institutionalized population, and households in extremely remote areas with very low population density. These groups together represent an exclusion of approximately 2% of the population aged 15 and over.
  • Canada-level estimates are derived using the results of the LFS in the provinces. LFS results for the territories are not included in the national estimates, but are published separately. Difficulties exist with respect to reaching small communities in the territories, and there are areas that are excluded. As well, since the sample design, rotation pattern and reliability criteria are different from those in the 10 provinces, estimates for the territories are not included with the provincial totals, but are calculated and reported separately.
  • The data presented for this indicator are based on a 12-month average from January to December.
  • The percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 who had attained a specific level of education was obtained by dividing the number of people aged 25 to 64 who had completed the given level of education by the total number of people aged 25 to 64, then multiplying by 100.

Limitations

  • The figures presented may not add up to totals because of rounding.
  • While survey coverage in the provinces is fully representative of the working-age population, LFS coverage in the territories excludes some communities. Survey coverage in Northwest Territories is about 96%, and the Yukon has about 92% coverage. Since 2008, Nunavut’s survey coverage has been approximately 92%. The northern sample includes both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, while persons living on reserves and other Indigenous settlements are not included in the sample for the provinces.
  • The data presented are not directly comparable with National Household Survey data for the Indigenous population.
  • Caution should be exercised in interpreting the provincial/territorial ratios and differences in ratios between provinces/territories and over time, as small estimates may present fairly high sampling variability. Estimates for small geographic areas, for small age groups or for cross-classified variables will be associated with larger variability.

Data Sources


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