Public postsecondary enrolments and graduates, 2010/2011

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Just over 1,955,300 students were enrolled in Canadian public postsecondary institutions during the academic year 2010/2011, a 2.7% increase from the previous year.

Canadian students made up 91.5% of total enrolments and international students 8.5%.

Enrolments increased in every province except New Brunswick and Saskatchewan, where they remained relatively stable.

Women accounted for 56.5% of the national enrolment total compared with 43.5% for men. This ratio has remained constant over the past decade.

Enrolment increased in all 13 fields of study, but 3 accounted for nearly half of total enrolment for 2010/2011. They were the humanities (18.3%); business, management and public administration (17.6%); and social and behavioural sciences and law (12.8%). These have been the top three fields of study for over a decade.

With respect to graduates, nearly 447,700 students received a certificate, diploma or degree from a public postsecondary institution in 2010, up 4.1%.

The roughly 260,900 female graduates represented 58.2% of the total, continuing a long trend in which female graduates have outnumbered their male counterparts.

In 2010, three fields of study accounted for about 50% of those receiving qualifications. They were business, management and public administration (22.1%); social and behavioural sciences and law (14.7%); and health, parks, recreation and fitness (13.6%).

Female graduates outnumbered men in every field of study except in mathematics, computer and information sciences; architecture, engineering and related technologies; personal, protective and transportation services; agriculture, natural resources and conservation; and personal improvement and leisure.

Note to readers

Canadian public postsecondary institution enrolment data for 2010/2011 and institution graduate data for 2010 are obtained using information from the Postsecondary Student Information System. Enrolment and graduate counts for certain institutions are preliminary or based on estimates.

Levels of enrolment presented are not meant to represent a complete enumeration of students at public postsecondary institutions during the academic year. The count excludes students enrolled in apprenticeship programs.

Of the "in-scope" students, the count represents the number of students who were taking courses up to December 1, 2010, for the academic year 2010/2011, and thus represents a snapshot of enrolment during that period.

Data are subject to revision.

Available in CANSIM: tables CANSIM table477-0019 and CANSIM table477-0020.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number survey number5017.

Data tables are available from the Summary tables module of our website.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;