Alberta gets a "B" grade on the "How Canada Performs" Education and Skills report card

OTTAWA, June 26, 2014 /CNW/ - The first "How Canada Performs: Education and Skills" report card to include provinces in the international ranking reveals that Alberta gets an overall "B" grade on its Education and Skills report card. This performance places Alberta fifth among the 26 jurisdictions (10 provinces and 16 advanced countries) covered in the analysis. Japan and Finland top the rankings, and Alberta ranks behind British Columbia and Ontario among the provinces.

"Alberta's booming economy means that educated and skilled individuals are in high demand in the workforce," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy. "In general, students are demonstrating strong reading, math, and science skills and the overall level of education in the province is high.

"The areas that need attention in Alberta include the relatively high proportion of adults with inadequate skills — as well as the low numbers of PhD students graduating in 2011 and science, math, computer science, and engineering students graduating in 2011.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alberta ranks behind only British Columbia and Ontario among the provinces.
  • Students in Alberta do very well on reading, math, and science skills.
  • Alberta has a wide gender gap—for every 100 women who have completed college and university education about 70 men have such credentials.

 

Like British Columbia and Ontario, Alberta gets an "A+" grade on the share of its population aged 25-64 with a high school diploma, a performance that surpasses all international jurisdictions. Alberta also gets an "A" grade on the share of its population aged 25-64 with a college diploma and a "B" on the share of the population aged 25-64 with a university degree.

Students in Alberta do very well on reading, math, and science skills based on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of 15-year old youth. Alberta earns "A" grades on three of the six indicators—with a particularly strong showing on science skills among its students.

However, the adult population in Alberta did not rank as highly as students when it comes to skills. The province gets "C" grades for the relatively large proportion  of adults with inadequate literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills in technology-rich environments.

Alberta's weakest areas are similar to much of the rest of the country — the low numbers of PhD students graduating in 2011 ("D"), and science, math, computer science, and engineering graduates in 2011 ("D-"). And Alberta stands out from the rest of the country for the wide gap between men and women in completing tertiary (college and university) education — 70 men complete these levels of education for every 100 women.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.

Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Education and Skills report card is the second of six to be produced over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. The Economy report card was published in May 2014. The remaining report cards will follow over the next year.

This is the first year that provincial rankings are included in the report cards. Data sources and report card methodology can be found on the How Canada Performs website.

 

SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca