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Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program 2003 Catalogue number About the Pan-Canadian Educational Indicators Program Highlights Figures and tables Full publication in PDF format Previous issues

About the Pan-Canadian Educational Indicators Program


This document is the third edition of Education Indicators in Canada: Report of the Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program.

The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators Program, or PCEIP, is a joint venture of Statistics Canada and the Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC), Canada. Funding in support of PCEIP has also been provided by Human Resources Development Canada.

In the Victoria Declaration of 1993, the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for education and training agreed to create the PCEIP. The PCEIP mission is to publish a set of statistical measures on education systems in Canada for policy makers, practitioners and the general public to evaluate the performance of education systems across jurisdictions and over time.

The first indicators published under the PCEIP banner appeared in 1996. A consultation with provincial and territorial governments and other education stakeholders the following year led to the definition of a new set of indicators, designed to address key policy issues.

In 1999, the first PCEIP report based on the new indicator set was published. Data for about half of the full set of indicators were included in the first edition. The present report updates information on most of the indicators reported in 1999, and provides several additional indicators.

What is unique about PCEIP

The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators are not the only indicators on Canadian education systems. Within Canada, many jurisdictions have developed education indicators, or are in the process of doing so.

The diversity of education systems in Canada and differences in definitions and data collection methods often restrict meaningful interjurisdictional comparisons. The Pan-Canadian Education Indicators incorporate extensive methodological work aimed at harmonizing data across jurisdictions. Indeed, the goal of the program is to provide consistent and high-quality information on education for all of Canada to support informed decision-making, policy formulation and program development.

Internationally, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development produces a set of education indicators called the Indicators of Educational Systems (INES). The INES compare education systems of OECD member countries. Results are published annually in Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators. Canada has participated in this project since its inception in 1988. PCEIP incorporates certain INES indicators to provide an international framework for pan-Canadian and jurisdictional indicators.

Value of education indicators

Indicators combine discrete education statistics and give them context. Indicators permit comparisons—between jurisdictions, over time, and with commonly accepted standards.

Although indicators show trends and uncover interesting questions, they cannot by themselves provide explanations or permit conclusions to be drawn. Additional research will always be required to diagnose the causes of problems and suggest solutions. The aim of this report is to stimulate thinking and promote debate on education issues.

Future plans

The next PCEIP report is tentatively scheduled for 2005. Program priorities include:

  • developing a Web site for PCEIP that will provide electronic access to more detailed underlying databases and make updated information readily available;
  • updating existing indicators as new data become available;
  • continuing research to refine and select data for the remaining indicators;
  • improving timeliness and cross-jurisdictional comparability;
  • consulting with provincial and territorial governments and other education stakeholders to increase the relevance and usefulness of the PCEIP.

Committees and organizations

Download Committees and organizations in PDF format.

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Date Modified: 2004-12-14 Important Notices