Maritime universities granted more than 15,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates in 2012. According to a recent report released by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, the number of university credentials granted, which had been decreasing since its peak five years ago, is now stabilizing.
"With the increase in the number of international students in the last few years, we are just starting to see the downward trend reverse," said Mireille Duguay, chief executive officer of the commission. "One in eight degrees granted was awarded to an international student in 2012, and that proportion is expected to grow in the coming years."
The decrease in the total number of credentials granted is attributable to a drop in the number of undergraduate degrees granted in the last five years, down 11 per cent since 2007.
The number of Master's degrees granted increased by 22 per cent and the number of PhDs granted increased by one per cent during the same period.
"The growth in the number of Master's degrees granted is most important in applied and professional programs such as education, health professions, engineering and business," said Duguay.
The three Maritime provinces show different trends over the last five years:
– New Brunswick universities granted 4,299 degrees in 2012. Since 2007, the number of undergraduate degrees granted dropped by 13 per cent to 3,546 and the number of graduate degrees granted increased by 37 per cent to 753.
– Nova Scotia universities granted 9,155 degrees in 2012. Since 2007, the number of undergraduate degrees granted dropped by 11 per cent to 7,056 and the number of graduate degrees granted increased by 15 per cent to 2,099.
– In Prince Edward Island, 806 degrees were granted in 2012. Since 2007, the number of undergraduate degrees granted increased by 10 per cent to 723 and the number of graduate degrees granted increased by 48 per cent to 83.
The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission was established in 1974. The commission is an arm's length organization accountable to the ministers responsible for post-secondary education in the Maritime provinces. The commission assists institutions and government in enhancing the post-secondary learning environment.
The commission's 20 members are drawn from the Maritime provinces, and represent higher education institutions, provincial governments and the general public. The commission's primary orientation in carrying out its duties is to give first consideration to improving and maintaining the best possible service to students as lifelong learners.
The report and detailed statistical tables are available on the commission's website at http://www.mphec.ca/.