Inadequate public support for post-secondary education, and research and innovation, has resulted in Canada falling to 15th in the World Economic Forum’s annual economic competitiveness ranking.
Despite its stable economy, Canada is falling behind many peer nations investments’ in education, the forum says in its Global Competitiveness Report.
“Canada is attempting to deliver post-secondary education in the 21st century with a system designed in the 19th century,” says Jessica McCormick, national chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “This slip in rankings underscores the need for national standards for quality and access in order to remain competitive internationally.”
On higher education, Canada ranked eighteenth, behind countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore–a dramatic drop from its eighth-place standing in 2010-11. The report identifies an overall decrease in the quality of education resulting from a lack of investment in staff and faculty development and inadequate support for academic research. It also notes that, in spite of a high number of trained scientists and engineers, a lack of public- and private-sector investment in innovation is hindering Canada’s economic competitiveness.
“Post-secondary education in Canada is currently delivered by ten different provincial education systems,” says McCormick. “Increased support for post-secondary education, guided by national standards, is essential for Canada to regain its place among the most globally competitive economies.”