Data Check: Ontario universities perform well in terms of graduation rates

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Critics of the productivity of Ontario’s universities need to check their facts.
 
Ontario universities are doing much better than their American peers when it comes to graduation rates. Over the last decade, the overall graduation rate amongst undergraduates in Ontario has been steadily improving. The latest data show it at 81 per cent. Once first professional subjects such as law and medicine are taken out of the mix to ensure comparability with US data, the province-wide graduation rate for 2010 is 80 per cent.
 
The US National Center for Education Statistics recently released data on 2011 retention and graduation rates. The national average amongst students seeking a bachelor’s degree was 59 per cent. Private, non-profit institutions rate of 65 per cent was the best US average by institution type. The average graduation rate across public institutions was 57 per cent. Private, for-profit universities fared even worse, graduating just 42 per cent of its first-time undergraduates within the same time frame.
 
More to the point, Ontario is doing this with considerably less per-student funding than their American peers. In 2011, average per-student public funding at US public four-year institutions was $9,416 and only $8,372 in Ontario. How’s that for productivity?
 
Sources:
National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education
Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Graduation, Job And OSAP Default Rates

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