CANADA: Changing demographic trends

Universities and colleges in Canada will have to adapt to a profound shift in demographics, according to a recent report by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Volume 1 of Trends in Higher Education (Enrolment) notes that by 2030, the number of people aged more than 65 will have doubled, while the working age population will have increased by only 8%. The report says because of these changes, the higher education sector must now respond creatively and with long-range strategies.

One of the areas it will need to look to is the expected increased demand for graduates trained in legal, health and social services. Universities and colleges will also have to expand access both domestically and internationally in addition to increasing the quality of education these students receive.

The report provides compelling evidence of the economic gains associated with a university education. It found that between 2008 and 2010 those with a bachelor degree had as much as a 75% income advantage over those with only a high school diploma.

Association President Paul Davidson said: "This data is very helpful to the decision-making process of not only governments but also students and their families."