Highlights from the CAUT Almanac of Post-Secondary Education, 2011-12 (24 October 2011)

The CAUT Almanac “documents the most current statistical information available on the status of post-secondary education in Canada,” using Stats Canada and other data.  Each chapter of charts and tables is prefaced with “Highlights,” as quoted below.  

Finance:  Highlights:

■ Canadian universities are relying increasingly on private income sources, primarily in the form of university tuition fees, to fund university operating revenues. Between 1979 and 2009 the proportion of university operating revenue provided by government sources has declined from 84% to 58% while the proportion funded by student tuition fees has increased from 12% to 35%.

■ Total Canadian university expenditures have increased dramatically over the past 30 years and at a rate significantly higher than expenditures on academic salaries. Between 1980 and 2009, total university expenditures increased by 195%, calculated in constant dollars. Over the same time period total expenditures in real dollars on academic rank salaries at Canadian universities increased by only 86%.

■ Despite the significant increase in university spending over the past 30 years, spending on academic salaries as a proportion of total university expenditures has declined steadily during this period. In 2009 spending on academic rank salaries represented only 20% of university expenditures, down from 31% in 1980. (p. 1)

from Table 1.4:  Provincial Government Transfers to Colleges and Universities per FTE Student Enrolments [excerpt for 2008-09]

  • NL: $16,118
  • PE: $11,390
  • NS: $16,218
  • NB: $13,979
  • QC: $12,455
  • ON: $10,390
  • MB: $15,161
  • SK: $24,482
  • AB: $25,674
  • BC: $13,901
  • CANADA: $13,521

Staff:  Highlights:

■ Average salaries for all fulltime Canadian university teachers increased by 4.4% between 2008 and 2009.

■ Average salaries for Full Professors in Canada, measured in constant $ 2009, increased by 16.7% between 2001 and 2009, an average real growth of 2.1% per year.

■ In 2009, the salary gap between male and female university professors by rank was – women Full Professors earned 94.8% of their male counterparts, Associate Professors 97.1% and Assistant Professors 97.1%.

■ As mandatory retirement laws have been rescinded in a number of provinces in recent years, the proportion of full-time university teachers in Canada employed as teachers beyond the common retirement age of 65 more than tripled between 2001 and 2009 to 5.1% (6.3% of males and 2.9% of females).

■ Over the same period, there has been a steady increase in the proportion of university teachers in the younger age cohorts (under 40 years) from 17.3% in 2001 to 21.3% in 2009. In 2009, 20.1% of male and 23.7% of female university teachers in Canada were under 40 years of age.

■ In 2009, 2,361 new full-time university teachers were appointed in Canada. Of these, 42.3% were female.

■ Female university teachers have made significant progress in attaining tenured and tenure track appointments over the past two decades. The proportion of full-time female university teachers holding tenured university positions more than doubled between 1989 and 2009, to 30.9%. Furthermore, in 2009, 43.3% of full-time female university teachers were in tenure track positions, up from 30.3% in 1989.

■ 34.9% of all full-time university teachers in 2009 were female, up from 28.7% in 2001. However, in 2009, only 21.8% of Full Professors teaching in Canadian universities were female, an increase from 15.1% in 2001.  (p. 5)

Students:  Highlights:

■ In 2008, Canadian universities awarded 171,882 Bachelor’s and other undergraduate degrees, 36,423 Master’s, and 4,962 Doctorates. In 2007-2008, community colleges in Canada awarded 159,438 certificates, diplomas and degrees.

■ The participation rate of 21-year-olds in university education grew from 12% in 1972-1973 to 29% in 2008-2009. The participation rate for youth aged 18-24 in university programs was 23% in 2008-2009, up from 17% in 1992-1993.

■ In 2008-2009, 43% of graduates of undergraduate programs attended university in Ontario and 25% attended universities in Québec. 39% of community college graduates were from Ontario colleges and 33% were graduates of CEGEPs in Quebec.

■ Full-time university enrolment grew from 592,320 in 1999-2000 to 836,685 in 2008-2009, an increase of 41% over the decade. Part-time enrolment grew much more modestly (12.6%) during the same period.

■ In 2008-2009, two-thirds (66%) of all undergraduate enrolment was in the social sciences and humanities. Enrolments in the natural sciences and engineering comprised about one-quarter (23%).

■ Women accounted for a majority of students enrolled at the Bachelor’s and other undergraduate degree (58%) and Master’s (56%) program levels and 47% at the PhD level in 2008-2009. Women also accounted for a majority of FTE community college enrolments (54%) in 2008-2009.

■ In 2008-2009, international students made up 6.4% of Bachelor’s and other undergraduate degree program FTE enrolment, but 15% of Master’s and 21% of PhD programs.

■ Among first-year undergraduate students surveyed in 2010, about 4% self-identified as aboriginal, 25% self-identified as a member of a visible minority group, and 7% of students self-identified as disabled.

■ The cost of undergraduate tuition has grown markedly over the past twenty years, from an average of $1,706 in 1991-1992 to $5,138 in 2010-2011, an increase of over 200%. Over the same period, the cost of living increased by only 41%. Tuition costs grew the fastest in Ontario (+247% in 2010-2011) and the slowest at Memorial University in Newfoundland (+70%). At $6,307, Ontario also has the highest average tuition in the country. In Québec, tuition grew almost as slowly (+84%) as in Newfoundland over 1991-1992 to 2010-2011, and the average tuition ($2,415 in 2010-2011) remains the lowest in the country.

■ In 2006, youth aged 18-24 with parents earning more than $100,000 in pre-tax income were almost twice as likely (49%) to have been enrolled in university than those with parents earning less than $25,000 (28%).

■ Over half (55%) of full-time students aged 20-29 participated in the labour market in 2010, whether working part-time or full-time, or looking for work.

■ From 1990-1991 to 2008-2009, the number of full-time CSL [Canada Student Loan] recipients grew by 118% in Ontario and by 62% in British Columbia, while declining by 41% in Newfoundland and by 37% in Saskatchewan.

■ In 2005, the average debt at graduation among those with both private and government loans was $22,600 at the college level, $37,000 at the Bachelor’s level, $37,800 at the Master’s level and $43,700 at the Doctoral level. (p. 23)

Universities and Colleges:  Highlights:

■ At the end of 2009, Canadian universities and colleges had accumulated more than $10 billion in endowment funds, calculated at market value, a decrease of 17.0% over 2008.

■ Student-teacher ratios at Canadian universities increased in 2008-2009 to 23.6. This figure should be treated with caution, however, as much of the undergraduate teaching at Canadian universities is performed by contract academic staff who are not included in the annual survey of full-time university academic staff.

■ In 2009 the average salary and benefit packages paid to university presidents in Canada increased less than 1% over 2008 for reporting institutions. The highest paid Canadian university president now receives more than $700,000 in salary and benefits.

■ In 2009 the average salary and benefit packages paid to college presidents in Canada increased by 2.7% over 2008 for reporting institutions. While salaries paid to college presidents are still lower on average than those paid to university presidents, the salary gap between them is narrowing.  (p. 44)

from Table 4.4: University FTE Enrolment  – Full-time Faculty Ratios, 2008-2009

Institution                            FTE Students    Full-time Faculty        Ratio

McGill University                  28,507.3                1,680                                  17.0

McMaster University            24,218.1                 1,194                                   20.3

Queen’s University                19,103.6                 783                                     24.4

University of Ottawa             31,797.9                 1,209                                  26.3

University of Alberta            33,962.1                 1,545                                   22.0

University of B.C.                   41,361.9                 1,247                                  18.4

University of Calgary            25,031.1                  1,602                                 15.6

University of Toronto           68,603.6                2,622                                 26.2

University of Waterloo         27,123.4                 1,002                                 27.1

University of W. Ontario      31,459.7                 1,395                                  22.6

Research:  Highlights:

■ Federal government funding for university based research declined from the early 1990s to 1998. Between 1999 and 2004, federal funding more than doubled but between 2005 and 2009 federal funding increased by a more modest 10.4%.

■ SSHRC continues to be seriously under-funded when compared to the other Granting Councils, NSERC and CIHR. While 56% of full-time Canadian university teachers teach in the Humanities, Education and Social Science disciplines, SSHRC only received 13.3% of federal granting council funds in 2008-2009.

■ As of January 2011, the Canada Foundation for Innovation had granted 7,104 awards for research for a total value of more than $4.4 billion.

■ 58.0% of CFI awards have been given for research in the fields of Natural Sciences and Engineering, followed by 32.3% in Health Sciences. Research in the fields of Arts and Literature, Human and Social Sciences and Multidisciplinary fields have received less than 10% of awards granted to date.

■ In 2008-2009, Canadian universities received more than $6.2 billion in Sponsored Research revenue, an increase of 2.8% from 2007-2008.

■ 66.5% of Sponsored Research revenues were provided by Canadian government sources in 2008-2009. In contrast, private funding sources in the form of business donations, grants and contracts comprised 12.6% of the total.

■ Research and Development in Canada is increasingly conducted in universities and colleges. In 2009, 34.9% of all R&D expenditures in Canada were by Canadian post-secondary education institutions, up from 26.8% in 1995. R&D expenditures in the Business Enterprise sector dropped from 58.1% to 54.1% over the same time period, while the government sector experienced a small decline in R&D expenditures. (p. 47)

Libraries:  Highlights:

■ Canadian research libraries spent almost $666 million in 2008-2009, an increase of 6.9% from 2007-2008. In 2008-2009, 51.2% of total expenditures were devoted to staff salaries and benefits.

■ Total salary expenditures on professional staff increased by 10.6% between 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 while salaries paid to support and casual staff increased by 4.8% over the same period.

■ Total expenditures on library staff benefits increased by 3.5% between 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

■ In 2008-2009, monograph collections at research libraries in Canada expanded by a marginal 1.5% while collections of serials increased by 22.1%.

■ Canadian research libraries spent more than $271 million on library materials (monographs and serials) in 2008-2009, a significant increase of 11.2% from 2007-2008.

■ Between 2002-2003 and 2008-2009, almost all Canadian research libraries have significantly improved their ranking based on the expenditure-based ranking system of the American Research Libraries. Much of the improved ranking, however, may be explained by the dramatic increase in the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar. (p. 52)

Canada + Provinces:  Highlights:

■ In January 2011, over 60% of Canadians aged 25 and older reported having at least some postsecondary education. 34.1% indicated that they had received a certificate or diploma, while 16.3% reported a Baccalaureate and 7.9% reported a graduate degree.

■ The unemployment rate in January 2011 was 6.4% for those with a postsecondary certificate, 5.4% for those with an undergraduate degree and 3.9% for those with a graduate degree. For the overall population, the rate was 7.0%.

■ GDP in Canada declined by 2.5% in 2009. Provincial GDP growth was zero in Manitoba, and across the rest of the country the decline in GDP ranged from -0.1% in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island to -10.2% in Newfoundland. The provincial economy contracted by 3.6% in Ontario, and by 0.3% in Québec. Per capita income in Canada was $30,188 in 2008, varying from a low of $24,898 in Nova Scotia to a high of $36,746 in Alberta.

■ Median after-tax family income in 2008 was $63,900. The top 20% of income-earning families (households with incomes of $101,201 or greater) received 40% of all total after-tax family income. The bottom 20% (households with incomes of $37,800 or less) received just over 7%.

■ Between 1980-2005, the top 20% of regular income earners experienced an increase in median earnings of 16.4% (in constant dollars). Median earnings of the bottom 20% dropped by 20.6% over the same period.

■ Between 1999-2005, the poorest Canadians became poorer while the wealthiest became richer. The average debt levels of the poorest 20% of Canadian families grew by 70.3%, while the wealth and assets of the richest 20% grew 43.1%, after adjusting for inflation. (p. 55)

International:  Highlights:

■ The primary source for international education comparisons is the OECD’s [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s] annual publication Education at a Glance. Please note that for many of the indicators reported the data for Canada are unavailable. In these instances we have chosen to report for Canada the most current available data.

■ Canada ranks in the top one-third of OECD countries in the proportion of female university and college teachers.

■ Canada’s universities and colleges have aggressively recruited full fee-paying international students in recent years. In 2007, 5.5% of all international students in the world chose to pursue their post-secondary education in Canada, a small increase from the 4.4% of international students registered in 2006. In spite of this increase, Canada remained the sixth most popular destination behind the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia.

■ Canada’s population is very well educated when compared to citizens of other OECD countries. In fact, at 48.3% Canada leads all OECD countries in the proportion of its population that has successfully attained a college or university education by a significant margin.

■ Canada’s reported student-teacher ratio of 16.2 is slightly higher than the OECD average of 15.8 in 2008. This ratio needs to be treated with caution, however, as it has not been updated since 2001.

■ Private funding sources for post-secondary education have increased in almost all OECD countries between 2000 and 2008.

■ In 2007, only five OECD countries reported a lower percentage of public funding for post-secondary education than Canada. In 2006 just 56.6% of funding for post-secondary education in Canada came from public sources, down from 61.0% in 2000, and considerably below the OECD average of 69.1% in 2007. Canada has the sixth highest share of private funding (including tuition fees) of postsecondary education amongst OECD countries.

■ When higher education R&D expenditures are measured as a percentage of GDP, the results for Canada indicate a much higher level of R&D investment at the post-secondary level than other OECD countries. In 2008, Canadian higher education R&D expenditures were 0.64% of GDP, in contrast to the OECD average of 0.39%. The corresponding figure for the United States was 0.36%. (p. 58)

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