Transcript of the chat session Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective 2014, which occurred on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST

Note: This was a bilingual chat session, which means that the participants were able to submit their questions in English or French. Statistics Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that information products of equal quality are available in both English and French. For that reason, all the questions and answers have been translated in the other official language.

 Moderator at 13:30:00
Welcome everyone! This is a bilingual chat session, which means that you can submit your questions in English or French. Our experts will respond in a timely manner and in the official language in which the question was asked.

 christopheralexander at 13:30:00
Do your findings include one-off post-secondary courses taken for professional development or just pure interest?

 Michael Martin at 13:36:08
In general the report excludes professional development and pure interest education.  However, if you refer to Table E.1.5.1, participation in formal and non-formal education collected by the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies is reported.

 Thanyaluck.Karn... at 13:30:00
Are there any trends in enrollment that you have identified in post-secondary programs that may impact the skilled labour shortage in Canada? (e.g. increased enrollment in skilled trade programs).

 Klarka Zeman at 13:37:48
This particular report does not contain information on enrolment in skilled trades programs; however, our next education indicators release available in March 2015 would provide information on this topic.  That release will contain indicators based on the Registered Apprenticeship Information System.  For the most recent data out of that survey, please consult the Registered apprenticeship training programs, 2012.

 christopheralexander at 13:34:00
With the advent of online uninversities such as MIT open courseware, will you be including this data in the future?

 Michael Martin at 13:38:07
That is a very good question.  This information is currently not in scope; however, as this sector develops it is something we will want to look at more closely.

 parmgill27 at 13:38:00
Is the trend for the oldest age group for higher educational attainment related workplace needs and/or due to later retirements?

 Michael Martin at 13:45:47
The findings of the report show that among older age groups the attainment levels are lower than among the younger age groups. See table A.1.4.  Younger generations of Canadians are generally better educated than older generations.

 Thanyaluck.Karn... at 13:41:00
According to the report, international students accounted for almost one-quarter (23%) of enrollment in advanced research programs (ISCED 6). In general, what types of advanced research programs are included in this figure?

 Klarka Zeman at 13:47:03
Advanced research programs include:
"Programmes that lead directly to the award of an advanced research qualification, e.g., Ph.D. The theoretical duration of these programmes is 3 years, full-time, in most countries (for a cumulative total of at least 7 years full-time equivalent at the tertiary level), although the actual enrolment time is typically longer. Programmes are devoted to advanced study and original research."
For more information regarding what is included in the different ISCED levels, please refer to our Notes to readers.
This level generally refers to doctorates.

 Thanyaluck.Karn... at 13:31:00
According to the report, 12% of Canadians attained a “postsecondary non-tertiary education”, which includes certificates or diplomas from vocational schools or apprenticeship in training. Has this rate increased overtime?
How does this rate compare to that of other OECD countries?

 Klarka Zeman at 13:49:05
In recent years we see that the percentage of the population aged 25-64 who have postsecondary non-tertiary education is very stable - it was consistently 12% in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
This data is not available for some OECD countries; however, Canada's percentage of the population aged 25-64 who have postsecondary non-tertiary education as their highest level of educational attainment is one of the highest.

 Herb O'Heron at 13:43:00
Michael given the differences in how countries support universities in terms on student aid and research funding, and how different institutions attract resources to fund auxiliary enterprises like residences, food services, health services, and bookstores how meaningful is it to provide funding or expenditure per student data -- is it not more misleading than helpful?

 Michael Martin at 13:54:12
Herb, using the OECD methodologies every effort is made to standardize the data across countries.  However we do recognize that because of the differences in education systems at all levels - not just finances - these data can help to raise interesting questions and show trends, but by themselves cannot provide explanations. Additional research will always be required.  The aim of the report is to stimulate thinking and promote debate.

 glennb at 13:43:00
Due to the very unique nature in Canada of Quebec's CEGEP system, are there a way to determine the proportion of Canadians attaining some degree of post-secondary education, excluding CEGEPs?

 Klarka Zeman at 13:54:22
We do not publish the data in this form; however, this type of proportion could be determined through a custom extraction of data at Statistics Canada.  To request this type of data, you could contact

 Thanyaluck.Karn... at 13:52:00
Is data available on the distribution of spending within post-secondary and tertiary education institutions? For example, which faculties have witnessed larger increases in spending? (e.g. sciences and engineering).

 Michael Martin at 13:57:40
Expenditures at the institutional level are available, but not broken down by faculty.  These data are organized by financial function and expenditure types, such as capital and operating expenditures.  

 glennb at 13:46:00
In case my post didn't make sense (poorly worded):
Quebec's CEGEP system is quite unique when compared to post-secondary education in the rest of Canada. Is there a way to determine Canada's overall post-secondary education attainment rate (now highest in the world), factoring out CEGEP completion?

 Klarka Zeman at 13:58:10
Did my other response answer this question?  Yes, it would be possible to determine a postsecondary education attainment rate without the completion of CEGEP but it is not something that Statistics Canada currently publishes.

 Herb O'Heron at 13:48:00
Klarka in response to earlier question on skilled labour you suggested this release does not contain any data because it does not have data on trades. But we look at studies of where

Continued... studies about skills shortages most are outside the trades.. there is lots of data in your reports on enrolment in high skill occupations

 Klarka Zeman at 14:07:16
The question I responded to specifically referred to enrolment in the trades, which is not in this report.

 Herb O'Heron at 14:02:00
Michael The OECD is not making the kinds of adjustments I outlined... as a result we do end up with very misleading data for the public and for policy makers. I have raised these concerns in past and provided data in Trends reports which some in Education Finance at statscan like. Why is it that we cannot at least warn users that the data are not all that comparable?

 Michael Martin at 14:16:17
I appreciate your concern with respect to the comparability of these data. In the report we do advise caution when making comparisons due to interpretational differences and differences in the application of the data guidellines by countries reporting to the OECD (see Limitations section at the beginning of the report). However, the approach taken by the OECD is an approach that is agreed upon by participating countries.

 Herb O'Heron at 14:17:22
Michael-- anything on my follow-up question?

 FORSEILLE at 14:06:00
Are there more statistics available on youth transitions to the labour market after their tertiary education. Specifically what the average time lapse is from graduation to securing career related work and is this data available for different programs of study?

 Klarka Zeman at 14:20:19
Data from the National Graduates Survey look at the labour market outcomes of graduates three years after graduation.  This does not precisely answer your question, but can tell you something about how well graduates are doing in the years after they have finished their postsecondary studies.
The Cumulative Earnings of Postsecondary Graduates Over 20 Years: Results by Field of Study also may be of interest to you as it contains information about the earnings of postsecondary graduates.

 Thanyaluck.Karn... at 14:05:00
Does the data for post-secondary education track enrollment for faculties?

 Michael Martin at 14:22:45
Data on post secondary education is not tracked by faculty; rather, it is tracked by field of study as classified by the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP).  

 Herb O'Heron at 14:16:00
Klarka-- it seemed to me that the trades sector was just an example, part of the problem is that highly skilled jobs and skills trades are used as synonyms in Canada but not elsewhere.

 Klarka Zeman at 14:27:22
Thank you for your comments.

 Thanyaluck.Karn... at 14:18:00
The majority of international students in Canada were from Asia. Do you have data available on which Asian countries are projected to send the most number of students to Canada in the future?

 Michael Martin at 14:31:19
Unfortunately, we are not able to project these data; however, more detailed data on country of origin are available (Table C.1.2 of the report).

 lassad.damak @me... at 14:15:00
other question: is there a correspondence table between programs and graduates’ occupations? For example, I want to know the proportion of Master’s of Economics graduates who work as economists and the proportion who work as financial analysts.

 Klarka Zeman at 14:34:25
Statistics Canada does not publish a table as such, but the National Graduates Survey does provide data that can answer these questions. For more information, you can contact Statistics Canada at

 lassad.damak @me... at 13:56:00
Hello, I am looking for the drop-out or break-off rates by university or college program for Quebec, does that exist?

 Klarka Zeman at 14:35:20
Statistics Canada publishes data on the number of university and college graduates by province every year: Postsecondary graduates by institution type, province and sex (Both sexes). Unfortunately, we do not have a longitudinal database for postsecondary students; therefore, Statistics Canada does not publish information on the drop-out or break-off rates at the college or university level.

 Moderator at 14:30:00
The chat session is now over. Thank you for your questions and comments! If our experts did not have a chance to respond to your question, we will follow-up with you by email in the next few business days. The full transcript of this chat session will be made available on our website shortly. Have a great day!

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