Data Check: Ontario continues to lead Canada in university attainment rates

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The latest data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that Ontario continues to lead the pack in university attainment. Overall, Canada’s attainment rate in college and university education amongst 25-64 year olds is the highest amongst OECD member countries. Canada’s ranking is due in large part to college attainment rates. Although three other provinces perform as well as or better than Ontario when it comes to college attainment, Education Indicators in Canada shows that Ontario routinely has higher rates of university attainment.
There is still some distance to go if Ontario is to reach the provincial government’s goal of a 70 per cent attainment rate by 2020. This goal was popularized by Bob Rae in his 2005 report on higher education in Ontario. Census data collected shortly after the Rae Report show that 55 per cent of Ontario’s 25-54 year olds had a college or university credential. After the provincial government made the 70 per cent goal its official policy in 2010, that figure rose to 60 per cent.
On the face of it, an average increase in attainment rates of one percentage point per year makes the target attainable. Whether it will be enough to ensure sufficient talent for research and innovation is another matter. We’ll look at this issue in a future issue of OCUFA Report.

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