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ERIC Number: ED525257
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Dec
Pages: 163
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: ISBN-0-9782-2200-8
Canadian Post-Secondary Education: A Positive Record--An Uncertain Future. Report on Learning in Canada 2006
Canadian Council on Learning
This report aims to inform Canadians on the extent to which Canada's post-secondary education sector is contributing to Canadians' social and economic objectives, its ability to respond to a fast-changing global environment, and how Canada's approach to higher education compares with other leading developed countries. Analysis of currently available national and international data and research has led to the following findings: (1) There are anticipated labour-market shortages in key professions and occupations (health professions and skilled trades, for example) that require PSE; (2) Canada's overall R&D intensity continues to rank 15th among OECD member countries, despite increased investments over the last decade; (3) Access to, and benefits of, post-secondary education are not equally distributed among Canadians--at great cost to individuals and the economy; (4) Despite high levels of educational attainment, two of every five adults--or 9 million Canadians--have literacy levels below the minimum needed in today's economy and society; (5) There is significant unmet need for job-related education and training in Canada; (6) The post-secondary sector is still largely designed to respond to the needs of traditional, younger learners. The needs of many adult learners for more flexible, affordable and responsive methods of accessing PSE must be addressed; and (7) Canada lacks mechanisms at the national level to ensure coherence, coordination and effectiveness on key priorities such as quality, access, mobility and responsiveness. As a result, it is unlikely that Canada can optimize benefits to learners, attain pan-Canadian social and economic priorities, or support a distinctively Canadian culture and identity. This analysis points to several issues that merit national focus. Three activities should be pursued as matters of priority to provide a pan-Canadian framework for postsecondary education in Canada. There is a need to: (1) Articulate a set of explicit, well-defined goals and objectives for post-secondary education at the national level, cast in terms of what should be achieved through PSE to maximize the overall well-being of Canada and Canadians; (2) Develop a clear set of indicators and measures to enable continuous assessment of performance and progress made toward those goals and objectives at the national level; and (3) Establish mechanisms at the national level that accomplish the tasks outlined in the first two activities and which tie together Canadian post-secondary education with respect to key priorities such as access, quality, mobility and responsiveness, while recognizing provincial responsibilities and institutional academic autonomy. A bibliography is included. (Contains 38 tables, 50 figures and 150 footnotes.) [For related report, "Post-Secondary Education in Canada: Strategies for Success. Report on Learning in Canada 2007," see ED525258.]
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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Canadian Council on Learning
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; Croatia; Denmark; European Union; Finland; France; Germany; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom; United States