This chapter presents the structure of the Canadian higher education system and the relationship between Canadian universities and research and development (R&D) at the national level. In Canada, the constitutional jurisdiction for higher education resides at the provincial level. Research and development constitute a large portion of the federal government’s investment in postsecondary education. Using OECD and national data, we describe R&D in Canada from 1997 to 2017, with an emphasis on the university sector. We compare these trends over time with policy changes that have separated or integrated a national approach to skills training (workforce development) and innovation (science and technology). An overview of Canadian research activity is provided, including publication rates, citation rates, international collaborations, doctoral degree conferral rates, and the percentage of the population with advanced degrees.
- Higher education
- Research and development
- R&D expenditures
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Most universities operate under unique provincial acts though universities in British Columbia operate under the omnibus Universities Act, and the entire higher education system in Alberta operates under that province’s Postsecondary Learning Act. The university sector in Québec includes institutions that operate under unique charters, but it also includes the University of Québec, a multicampus provincial university system.
At the national level, Canada is officially bilingual (English and French), and this is also true at the provincial level in New Brunswick. English is the official language in the remaining eight provinces although some support French language or bilingual universities. Nunavut Territory recognizes the Inuit, English, and French languages, while 11 different languages are officially recognized in the Northwest Territory.
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The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund (OHCRIF), administered by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, to develop this project-related publication. The views expressed in this publication are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the government of Ontario.
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Bégin-Caouette, O., Jones, G.A., Stephenson, G.K., Metcalfe, A.S. (2021). Canada: The Role of the University Sector in National Research and Development. In: Aarrevaara, T., Finkelstein, M., Jones, G.A., Jung, J. (eds) Universities in the Knowledge Society. The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective, vol 22. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76579-8_21
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