Canadians say universities prepare students for changing world – survey

November 3, 2015
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OTTAWA – Canadians give high marks to universities for preparing students for rewarding careers, leadership and community engagement.  A new survey by Abacus Data also shows that Canadians value the role of universities in driving economic growth and building society in a time of dynamic change and new opportunities.

Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada, shared the survey results in a speech to the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce today.

“We know universities do an excellent job of preparing students for the global knowledge economy, and it’s gratifying to see that Canadians understand the broader role of universities,” said Mr. Davidson. “Canadians know universities are good for students, create stronger communities and build a better country.”

  • Eight out of 10 respondents had a positive view of Canadian universities.
  • A large majority recognized the essential role universities play in advancing Canada’s economic growth and the valuable research they conduct.
  • A majority think it is important for universities to play a positive role in the economic future and job prospects of students.
  • Sixty-five percent agreed that the most important role of a university education is developing adaptable, lifelong learners and good contributors to society.
  • Eighty-seven percent agreed that Canada needs to invest in building strong universities for a strong Canada.

“This data highlights the value Canadians place on universities’ ability to prepare Canada for the future through world-leading research and developing well-rounded citizens,” said Mr. Davidson. “Universities help individuals and communities successfully adapt and thrive in changing times. With the pace of change increasing, this role becomes more and more important.”

Abacus Data’s survey of 2,000 people across Canada was undertaken in late June 2015.  For more information about the survey results, please go to


About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.

Media contact:

Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications
Universities Canada
[email protected]

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