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ERIC Number: ED525254
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 160
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9266-1202-7
Post-Secondary Education in Canada: Meeting Our Needs? 2008-2009
Canadian Council on Learning
"Meeting our Needs?" is the third detailed portrait of postsecondary education (PSE) in Canada issued by the Canadian Council on Learning (CCL). As in previous years, this paper's goal is to provide Canadians with the most current information about the sector's capacity to contribute to the achievement of Canada's social and economic goals. "Meeting our Needs?" provides the most comprehensive overview of post-secondary education in Canada to date. It presents the latest available data (up to December 2008) on the sector's performance and progress, drawing on new national and international data sources, and offers an in-depth analysis of the findings. This high-level analytical framework, the only one of its kind in the country, points both to strengths and weaknesses in the sector and draws conclusions about their implications for Canada's long-term welfare. The structure of this report is very different from earlier editions. It retains the eight core chapters that have characterized previous years' studies of Canadian PSE, and reinforces that Canada needs high performance in all eight areas. However, the order of the 2008 report has been re-organized. The first three chapters focus on PSE processes and inputs--the "what" and "who" in PSE. The report begins by examining the link between access and attainment. It then moves on to explore barriers to and gender disparities in PSE, as well as consequences for under-represented groups. This section ends by examining the role of PSE in lifelong learning. The next portion of the report assesses how PSE functions: the affordability and sustainability of PSE, the balance between government and student financial contributions, and the factors affecting institutional capacity. The three chapters that follow this section concentrate on the outputs, or outcomes, of PSE. This part of the report looks at the role of PSE in nurturing an active, healthy citizenry, supporting the creation of an adaptable workforce, and fostering innovation in the economy and in society. The final chapter of the report looks forward and questions what PSE will look like in Canada a decade from now, in light of the emergence of new PSE models. It asks how current high standards can be carried forward so that the next generation can optimize the benefits of PSE. Each chapter of "Meeting our Needs?" begins with an overview of the key findings, identifying areas where Canada enjoys "Positive Performance," as well as "Troubling Trends" with potentially adverse consequences for the country's future. The chapters conclude with a section entitled "Summary: Opportunities and Future Directions," which summarizes Canada's PSE advantages and shortcomings and points to potential solutions to the challenges identified. This analysis is enriched with pertinent findings from the 2008 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) study, "Tertiary Education for the Knowledge Society," which provide an international perspective. The OECD study includes a compilation of PSE strategies adopted in other countries and makes recommendations for continued improvement. The inclusion of this material provides a benchmark against which Canada can measure its present performance and offers best practices that Canada may borrow as it develops strategies for the future. Ellis Chart is appended. A bibliography is included. Individual chapters contain endnotes. (Contains 79 tables and 52 figures.)
Canadian Council on Learning. c/o University of Ottawa, 50 Laurier East Suite 108, Ottawa, ON K1N 1H7, Canada. Tel: 613-569-7600; Fax: 613-569-6129; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Canadian Council on Learning
Identifiers - Location: Canada