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Education indicators in Canada: An international perspective, 2010

Education indicators in Canada: An international perspective, 2010

“In 2010, 92% of Canadian adults aged 25 to 34 had completed at least a high school education, compared with 82% for those aged 55 to 64. These rates were higher than the average for the 34 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where 82% of adults aged 25 to 34 and 62% of those aged 55 to 64 had attained at least a secondary school education.

In Canada, 26% of adults aged 25 to 64 had completed a university education, higher than the 22% average for the OECD countries.

The employment rate in Canada for adults aged 25 to 64 who had completed college or university programs was 81% in 2010, compared with 72% for those who completed secondary school and 55% for those who had not completed high school. The overall OECD employment rates were quite similar.

In 2010, about 44% of Canada’s young adults aged 15 to 29 were still pursuing some form of education. The most recent average for the OECD countries was slightly higher, at 47%.

In Canada, close to 14% of young adults aged 15 to 29 were considered to be in the so-called “NEET” group — the acronym for people who were not in employment, education or training. This proportion compares with an OECD average of approximately 16%. Young Canadians with college or university education were less likely to be in the NEET group (about 10%).

Canada devoted just over 6% of its gross domestic product (GDP) to educational institutions in 2008, about the same as the OECD overall. About 40% of that share of GDP in Canada was spent on postsecondary education, the highest such allocation among the OECD countries. The United States was close behind at 36%.

Spending per student for secondary education in Canada averaged $11,489 in 2008/2009, 7% higher than the average per student for primary education ($10,758). Total expenditure per student on university education averaged $31,103.

At the primary and secondary level in Canada, the compensation of teachers accounted for the largest share of current expenditure, a situation common to all other OECD countries. Starting salaries for teachers in every province and territory were similar for all levels taught. They were also higher than the corresponding OECD averages.

In Canada, the average starting salary for teachers in public institutions (converted in US dollars) was around $34,500, regardless of level taught; that is, primary, middle school, or high school. This compares with OECD averages of $28,523, $29,801 and $30,889, respectively.

School teachers in Canada teach a few more hours than their counterparts in the OECD at each level of schooling. In 2009/2010, primary school teachers taught an average of 799 hours per year compared with the OECD average of 782 hours. At the secondary level, teaching time in Canada was about 740 hours.

Roughly 100,000 international students were registered in postsecondary programs in Canada in 2009, nearly twice the number in 2001. Students from Asia accounted for 59% of all international students in Canada. In the OECD, Asian students accounted for 51% of international students.”

Canadian Education Systems Make the Grade in New OECD Report

“TORONTO, September 11, 2012 – A new international report, released today, confirms that Canada is not only a world leader in education, but that its education outcomes continue to improve. But it also shows that many other countries are catching up, making the global race to the top in education more competitive.

Education at a Glance 2012, OECD’s annual review of education systems around the world, offers a broad range of comparable national education indicators, including indicators on student demographics, the human and financial resources invested in education, the operation of education systems, and the social and economic outcomes of learning.

The report shows that over 50 per cent of adults in Canada hold a college or university degree, a figure that has risen by 14 percentage points over the past 15 years. That’s the highest in the OECD, meaning that Canada stands out as one of the best educated societies in the world — all the more important, given the increasingly knowledge-intensive nature of work in the 21st century.

Provincial and territorial education systems also continue to make headway in reducing the number of students who drop out of school. Fifteen years ago, one in five adult Canadians had not completed high school. Today, that figure has dropped to one in ten.

At a time of growing competition for high-quality international students, Canada has doubled the number of international students in provincial and territorial public postsecondary institutions in less than a decade.

The OECD data for Canada have been broken down by province and territory in a companion report, Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective 2012, produced by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), and Statistics Canada, which is also being released today. It facilitates the comparison of Canadian education systems with those of OECD member countries.

“Canadians know that evaluation is essential. Finding out how you are doing helps you determine how you can do better. This is the value of education indicators like those developed by OECD,” said the Honourable Ramona Jennex, Minister of Education for Nova Scotia and Chair of CMEC. “They provide us with timely, internationally comparable data to help us understand how our education systems are doing, so we can direct government efforts and taxpayer resources to where they are most needed.”

Of course challenges remain.

Although Canada has weathered the economic crisis of the past few years well in comparison to many other countries, it has not been untouched. There has been a slight rise over the past few years in the proportion of younger Canadians who are neither employed nor in education and training, from 11.7 per cent in 2008 to 13.5 in 2010. However, this is still below the OECD average (15.8 per cent) and that of other countries such as the United Kingdom (15.9 per cent) and the United States (16.1 per cent).

Moreover, other countries are catching up. The rate of growth in the proportion of postsecondary graduates in many other countries is outpacing that in Canada. The result is that while Canada ranks first in terms of the proportion of its overall population that has a postsecondary credential (from either a college or university), it only ranks third when considering only the younger cohort of adults (those between the ages of 25 and 34).

“We should acknowledge our achievements in building one of the best educated societies in the world, but we cannot be satisfied,” said Minister Jennex. “We have to be prepared to confront the challenges that lie ahead.”

Some highlights for Canada from the 2012 editions of Education at a Glance and Education Indicators in Canada:

  •  Fifty-five per cent of Canadian women possess a higher education credential, more than women in any other OECD country. On the other hand, Canadian men with a college or university degree are more likely to be employed (84.7 per cent) than Canadian women (78.5 per cent). This 6.2 per cent gap in employment between highly educated men and women is reflective of the trend in OECD countries generally, but is well below the OECD average of 9 per cent.
  •  A look at how employment rates varied for Canadians with different levels of education between 1997 and 2010 suggests that the lowest-educated group is the most sensitive to changes in the labour market. The employment rate of adults who did not complete high school had dropped by five percentage points at its lowest point. The employment rate of Canadians who completed college or university was more stable in the same period, dropping by only 1.5 percentage points.
  •  Students from China represent by far the largest group of international students studying at Canadian institutions, accounting for 24.7 per cent of the total international student population, compared to 7.4 per cent from the United States, 6.1 per cent from France, and 4.8 per cent from India.
  •  Canadian children aged 7 to 14 spend significantly more time in a formal instructional setting (7,363 hours on average per year) than the OECD average of 6,621 hours.”



Posted on: September 29, 2012, 7:18 am Category: Uncategorized

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