Research Outline

Higher Education In Canada


The goal is to identify the gaps between what current and future university students want in Canada, and what the marketplace is seeking in terms of solutions and manpower, versus what universities are actually providing and producing.

Early Findings

  • Some university students in Canada believe that they do not get sufficient knowledge and experience that could lead to a fulfilling career after graduation. Employers on the other hand, have complained that graduates do not have the technical knowledge that is needed, but also their soft skills such as communication and collaboration are insufficient and this creates a severe shortage of skilled labor especially in the TEM fields: scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
  • A former vice-president at the Université du Québec stated that research training starting at the undergraduate level should be implemented in the universities' programs.
  • According to a report on the future of higher education in Canada, students prefer to enroll in shorter programs with a higher level of work-based learning credit and prior learning assessment, Moreover, students are looking for courses, which are work-relevant and engaging.
  • Ken Steele, a higher education strategist stated that in the future, experiential learning has to be integrated, so students can combine different social aspects that will help them develop such as classroom study, community-based research, volunteerism and workplace experiences. Furthermore, he mentioned that universities in Canada should create programs that meet the workforce training needs of the companies.
  • A group of graduate students from the University of British Columbia (UBC) said that the Canadian higher education system has an elite character that often goes unnoticed. While the government of Canada promotes equal opportunities for access to education, the experiences of students while they study and after they graduate, differ depending on their family status and income. This means that more effort needs to be done to promote equality during studying, but also equal access to career opportunities after graduation.
  • In 2018, international students contributed $21.6 billion to Canada’s GDP and supported almost 170,000 jobs for Canada’s middle class.
  • A research based on the answers of 351 international students in Canada found that 86% of the students that participated were satisfied with return on investment from studying in Canada, while 91% would highly recommend Canada to future students.