Doctorate Education in Canada: Findings from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2005/2006

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by Darren King, Judy Eisl-Culkin and Louise Desjardins

"Doctorate Education in Canada: Findings from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2005/2006" is the third paper in a series of reports written by the Learning Policy Directorate of Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Centre for Education Statistics of Statistics Canada. Each report presents an overview of doctoral education covering annual data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) from each of the three years of the survey's existence (2003/2004, 2004/2005 and 2005/2006).

The Survey of Earned Doctorates is a key source of information regarding the training of doctoral graduates in Canada. It provides information on the pathways of these highly qualified graduates through the education system and sheds light into the expectations of graduates as they transition into employment and postdoctoral education.

In this 2005/2006 report, special attention has been given to the foreign born among the doctoral graduates. Foreign-born graduates represent more than one in every five graduates in the 2005/2006 academic year, and over half of all doctoral graduates living in Canada in 2006. Canada's immigration policy, with its emphasis on educational attainment, ensures that the foreign born will continue to account for a large proportion of Canada's doctorate degree holders. Furthermore, attracting foreign-born talent to Canada will be important if Canada is to increase the number of doctoral degree holders since growth in the graduates from Canadian institutions has been minimal. One of the key challenges will be to retain graduates, both foreign-born and Canadian-born, in Canada upon the completion of their degree.

Also unique to this third report, is the ability to discuss trends over the three years of survey data.

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