This topic assesses performance in education-related areas from a student perspective.
For students, entering Post Secondary Education (PSE) involves a fundamental trust. When they pay their fees, they have a reasonable right to expect that they won’t be over-charged, and that their money will be used prudently to provide them with the best education possible.
The indicators in this topic are intended to measure the degree to which their trust has been respected.
The chart below shows the change in spending across the Top 25 since 2001 in “Real Dollars” (adjusted for both inflation and enrollment). The growth pattern for Credit Course Tuition Fees is included in the chart for the purposes of comparison. Positive values denote increases exceeding inflation and enrollment combined:
Top 25 Change Overview (Inflation-adjusted):
- Instruction expenditure averaged $463 million in 2022 – up 88% since 2001 (24% since 2010). It now accounts for 56.7% of Total GOE (58.6% in 2001, 58.0% in 2010).
- Library expenditure averaged $31 million in 2022 – up 25% since 2001 (1% since 2010). It now accounts for 3.8% of GOE (5.9% in 2001, 4.8% in 2010).
- Total Academic Salaries in Instruction averaged $265 million in 2022 – up 83% since 2001 (24% since 2010). They now account for 32.5% of GOE (34.6% in 2001, 33.2% in 2010).
- Credit Course Fee income averaged $373 million in 2022 – up 243% since 2001 (100% since 2010).
To add perspective to the above numbers, average enrollment has increased by 57% since 2001 (21% since 2010).
Those numbers represent an indictment of Canadian PSE. The gap between what students pay and what they receive has been permitted to widen year after year since 2001, and this pattern shows no sign of abating, never mind ending.
But it goes far beyond the fundamental issues of cost and quality, as troubling as they are.
This continuing pattern has impaired accessibility, fuelled a distressing escalation in issues related to student mental health, and throttled much of Canada’s next generation before they even have a chance to build their lives beyond campus. And yet it continues, year after year after year.
There is something deeply troubling about a system in which key decision-makers at the campus and provincial levels, who negotiated their PSE years at much lower cost and emerged with far less (if any) debt, can be so accepting of – and even culpable in – this betrayal of trust.
Rankings Tables and Financial Impact Assessments
The underlying methodology for the tables below can be seen HERE. Each table opens in a new tab.