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Margin Notes

A few select facts for your back-to-school enjoyment

The latest on employment earnings, experiential learning, student debt, and more …


The beginning of August is too early for me to contemplate back-to-school activities – the summer goes by too quickly as it is – but it hasn’t been too early for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada to start its back-to-school messaging.

In anticipation of the return to classes in September, AUCC has put out another list of select facts about postsecondary education in Canada (you can download the full list here in PDF). The association put out a similar list last year with slightly different statistics.

New this year, citing the 2011 National Household Survey, AUCC notes that over their careers university graduates typically earn 50 percent more than other full-time workers without a university degree. As well, according to the Labour Force Survey, between May 2008 and May 2014, more than twice as many net new jobs were created for university graduates than for college and trades graduates combined (878,000 and 437,000 respectively).

In recent months AUCC has increasingly been extolling the merits of experiential learning, and on that front the association notes that more than half of all university undergraduates benefit from a co-op or internship experience before they graduate. The number of university students participating in co-op programs has grown by 25 percent in the past seven years.

On student debt, AUCC notes that reports on debt levels are often misleading. Most reports fail to mention the fact that 40 percent of university students today graduate debt-free. Of those with debt, 30 percent owe less than $12,000.

Now it’s your turn: do you have a fast fact about Canadian postsecondary education you’d like to draw attention to? Use the comments function below, or tweet mentioning @Margin_Notes. Don’t forget to cite your source!

Léo Charbonneau
Léo Charbonneau is a former editor of University Affairs.
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