REPORT: How do Canadian Students Match up Against The World?

Sandwiched conveniently between the drop of T-Swift’s Reputation and the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi came another hotly anticipated release you may have missed.

Don’t pretend you don’t know. Obviously I can only be talking about one thing: the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard for 2017.

It’s been an agonizing two years waiting to see how Canadian students and researchers stack up against the rest of the world. But the wait is over, the data is in. Let’s dive in.

The Good

When it comes to online education, we’re number one. Like seriously number one. Like it’s not even close.

Canada had over 77% off people between the age of 16 and 24 take an online course in 2016. Brazil was second at 43%, Korea third at 40%. No other country even hit 30%.

We came out so far ahead, the data scientist in me thinks there’s an issue with the data. But as a proponent of online education, I’ll take the win.

Canada also experienced large net employment gains by adding 1.2 million jobs from 2010 and 2016.

The Bad

Things are not so rosy for Canada in other areas.

First, women make 19% less than men.

Canada ranks only 16th in terms of the percentage of female post-secondary graduates in natural sciences, engineering and ICTs. Only 32% of Canadian graduates in these fields are women, compared to numbers as high as 44% in Poland.

This number is in stark contrast to the percentage of female post-secondary graduates across all fields in Canada, which continues to grow and recently hit a new high of 58%.

The Middling

When it comes to research excellence, Canada managed to crack the top ten. We rank 9th, just behind France and Japan and just ahead of Australia.

Ninth might not sound so great, but it’s not bad. Plus, Canada does punch above its weight. Adjust for population size, and we jump all the way to 4th, trailing only Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

So the next time you’re at the pub night and an obnoxious American is bragging about how his home country accounted for 25.53% of the global share of the top 10% of most-cited papers normalises by scientific field and type of document, you can just respond by pointing out that adjusted for population Canada’s performance was 7% better.

Then just pull up this video on your phone.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.
Grumpy Prof

Grumpy Prof

Grumpy Prof sent us an anonymous email with this article. We aren't sure, but we believe Grumpy Prof likes apples that have been handwashed, a good Robert Ludlum novel and a mighty strong scotch.