TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Every dollar spent on post-secondary education creates $1.36 for the Canadian economy, according to a Conference Board of Canada report released today at the 2nd Skills and Post-Secondary Education Summit 2014: Developing the Skills and PSE Strategy for Canada, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
"Not only do Canada's universities and colleges contribute to our economic and social well-being by educating and training people, they also generate significant economic benefits to the communities and provinces where they are situated," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy.
- Canada's universities and colleges generate over $55 billion of economic activity.
- Off-campus student spending could generate as much as $17 billion in benefits to surrounding communities.
- The sector supports close to 680,000 direct and indirect jobs across Canada.
- University degree holders earn $138 for every $100 earned by a person who has a high school diploma.
The Conference Board of Canada estimates that over $40 billion in spending flows through Canada's colleges and universities each year through government funding, enrollment tuition, and additional research funding. This spending produces over $55 billion annually in economic activity and supports close to 680,000 direct and indirect jobs. Of note, approximately half of the economic benefits can be attributed to government funding of post-secondary education institutions.
The estimates do not include the economic impact generated by the commercialization of research conducted by Canada's post-secondary education institutions.
Additionally, surrounding communities benefit from off-campus student spending, which can generate as much as $17.5 billion in economic activity. Visitor spending associated with PSE institutions adds about $2 billion in additional economic impact.
The report, The Economic Impact of Post-Secondary Education in Canada, also examines the impact of the PSE institutions' role in developing human and intellectual capital. It finds:
- Overall, higher income levels are associated with higher educational attainment. University degree holders generate a 36 to 46 per cent greater annual return on their education investments compared to high school graduates.
- University graduates in applied skills see the highest returns on their education investments.
- Canada's PSE system performs well on generating ideas, publishing ideas in academic journals and having research cited. However, it is weak at converting ideas into new or better products and services that contribute to economic performance.
- Canadian universities could do more to embrace opportunities for applied research.
This publication is one of three foundational reports for the Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education (SPSE) that will help feed the dialogue at the 2nd Annual Skills and Post-Secondary Education Summit and help shape the objectives and actions of an eventual pan-Canadian education strategy. Launched in 2013, SPSE is a major five-year initiative from The Conference Board of Canada that examines the advanced skills and education challenges facing Canada today.
SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada
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