Some 1.4 million full- and part-time students arrived at university campuses across Canada this fall, including almost 30,000 students on our U of G campuses. For those students and our wider society, our collective investment in Canada’s public university system will yield numerous returns – in ways that go well beyond strict dollars and cents. Costs are one thing. Value is another. Universities with their long traditions of scholarship and research continue to offer unique value to students and society.
In a rapidly changing world, employers are looking for employees with core skills including critical thinking, problem solving, communication and creativity. It’s those adaptable skills that will enable university graduates to think and collaborate across disciplines, to master new technologies, and to anticipate and lead change.
“Through experiential learning – co-ops, internships, volunteering – more than half of university students gain experience in applying what they learn to the workplace.“
Through experiential learning – co-ops, internships, volunteering – more than half of university students gain experience in applying what they learn to the workplace.
It’s working: More than 90 per cent of Ontario university grads – and 95 percent for U of G alumni – find employment within two years of graduation. For all Ontario university grads, including U of G alumni, nearly nine out of 10 find employment in or related to their field of study within two years.
And it’s working not just for those graduates but also for the wider economy.
Canada’s universities account for about $35 billion in direct expenditures and employ about 250,000 people, according to Universities Canada. U of G’s own economic impact is worth an estimated $1.5 billion to the Canadian economy and generates employment of more than 16,000 FTEs.
Universities are engines of innovation – gaining new knowledge and applying that knowledge in numerous ways. In our rapidly changing economy, that’s key to remaining competitive and thriving. From artificial intelligence and quantum computing to vaccine development and clean energy, innovations developed in universities in partnership with businesses and other organizations help to power economic growth.
That economic growth also helps ensure community well-being. A thriving community or country is one with the economic resources to provide social services and supports for all, including the less fortunate members of society.
Investing today in our public university system yields future returns for our students and, ultimately, ensures value for all of us.
President and Vice-Chancellor