University enrolment 2006/2007

Enrolment in Canadian universities rose 0.9% in the academic year 2006/2007, the second smallest growth rate since 2000.

Young adults aged 18 to 21 accounted for 90% of this growth as their numbers increased 2.1% to 427,400.

Enrolment, which was on the decline throughout the mid-1990s, has picked up in the last 10 years.

Female students accounted for 58% of all registrations in 2006/2007, a proportion that has remained steady since 2001.

In 2006/2007, 611,700 women were registered, up 1.1% from the previous academic year, while the number of male students rose 0.7% to 445,300.

Undergraduate and graduate enrolment
Total undergraduate enrolment amounted to 811,800, up 1.1% from the previous academic year. Women accounted for 59% of the total undergraduate enrolment.

Undergraduate enrolment among men increased 1.1%, compared with a 1.0% increase for women, which was half their rate of growth in the previous academic year.

About 95,700 students were enrolled in a master’s program in 2006/2007, up 1.8% from the previous academic year. Women accounted for just over 54% of enrolment at the master’s level.

At the doctorate level, enrolment of 36,800 in 2006/2007 was virtually unchanged from the previous academic year. This was the smallest increase in enrolment in doctoral programs since 1999/2000.

Men still outnumber women in doctorate programs, although their proportion has been on the decline. In 2006/2007, men accounted for less than 54% of doctorate registrations, down from 60% in 1995/1996.

Full- and part-time enrolments
Full-time university enrolment rose 0.8% to 788,000 in 2006/2007.

The number of full-time registrations rose in four provinces: Prince Edward Island (+3.3%), Ontario (+2.7%), Manitoba (+1.2%), and Quebec (+0.8%).

The largest decline in full-time registration occurred in New Brunswick at 4.8%, followed by Newfoundland and Labrador (-3.0%), British Columbia (-2.4%), and Nova Scotia (-2.1%).

Part-time university enrolment increased 1.2% to 269,300. The largest gains were in Prince Edward Island (+20.8%) and Alberta (+13.3%). Universities in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec recorded declines in part-time enrolment.

Fields of study
The top three fields of study by numbers of registrants (social and behavioral sciences and law; business, management and public administration; and the humanities) accounted for nearly one-half (49%) of total enrolment in 2006/2007.

A record 187,300 students were registered in social and behavioral sciences, and law, up 4,700 from the previous academic year. This field of study accounted for almost 18% of total enrolment.

Enrolment in business, management and public administration reached 174,700, an increase of 6,300.

Enrolment fell in four fields (personal improvement and leisure; humanities; physical and life sciences, and technologies; and mathematics, computer and information sciences).

The decline in mathematics, computer and information sciences field continued a long-term trend. In 2006/2007, 33,900 students were enrolled in the field, down 7.4% from 2005/2006 and well below the peak of 46,000 in 2001/2002. The field accounted for 3.2% of total enrolment in 2006/2007, the lowest proportion since 1992.

Table 1 University enrolment by registration status

Table 2 University enrolment by fields of study and gender

Table 3 University enrolment by province

You can find more details, charts and tables at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/090311/dq090311a-eng.htm

For further information or to schedule interviews with a Statistics Canada Analyst regarding this release please contact: Jey Dharmaraj, at: (416) 954-5976 or jey.dharmaraj@statcan.ca

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